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Man Known for Light Bulb Eating Antics Arrested in String of Bank Robberies

By Jess Wisloski | June 8, 2012 3:52am
A Capital One Bank on Metropolitan Avenue in Queens.
A Capital One Bank on Metropolitan Avenue in Queens.
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DNAinfo/Ashley Welch

NEW YORK CITY — An alleged bank robber, who also holds the world record for eating a light bulb in 33 seconds, according to reports, made one not-so-bright mistake when he tried to rob the same bank twice in a week.

Police arrested Robert J. Williams, of West End Ave., after they say he strutted in to an Apple Bank located at 1321 Kings Highway on Wednesday morning, and fled, when he realized that the workers there had recognized him from a June 1 robbery at the same Sheepshead Bay location. 

The alleged robber came to this realization at 10:15 a.m., as he was writing a demand note on a deposit slip, and left immediately on foot, but two bank workers followed Williams outside, police said.

That's when the bank workers witnessed the suspect pulling a sinister spin on the Superman act, ducking into a doorway and emerging moments later wearing different clothes, the police said. The bank workers told police what the new outfit looked like, and cops canvassing the area tracked the suspect down in no time, apprehending a man who fit the description, and was walking and texting on East 10th Street near Avenue P.

A bank teller positively identified the man in custody as the robber, who allegedly was involved in 10 other robberies across the city, police say.

The New York Post reported that the alleged suspect managed to score $14,000 over the course of robbing the banks. The Post also connected Williams to his identity as the world record-holder for light bulb munching, and reported that the bank teller was able to recognize the suspect by his unique Elvis-like sideburns.

So far, Williams has been charged with six robberies in Brooklyn, including two different HSBC branches, a Chase Bank, and a Capital One bank. Two of the incidents were unsuccessful attempts. All of the banks struck were along Kings Highway in Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend.

Police said charges against the suspect are pending in one more Brooklyn robbery, one Bronx bank robbery, a Queens bank robbery, and two Manhattan bank robberies.