MASPETH — It was the Queens version of the Italian job.
A crew of bank robbers used a stolen Caterpillar backhoe to try to lift an ATM from a Chase bank in Maspeth Friday morning, police sources said.
They carried the ATM to the parking lot but it fell from the machine’s powerful arm, cops said. The thieves fled on a black SUV, leaving the $200,000 machine and the ATM in the parking lot on 54th Avenue and 48th Street, police said.
No money was removed from the ATM.
“This is the 11th event in a pattern. Most of them are in Queens or Brooklyn North. We have seen two in Manhattan, where they'll use brute force,'' Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a press conference Friday.
On Wednesday, the crew used a stolen tow truck to try to rip an ATM from a TD Bank on Metropolitan Avenue near 80th Street in Middle Village.
Two men hooked up the ATM to the tow truck and then tried to yank the machine from the concrete sidewalk. The chains broke, causing the alarm to go off, police said.
Again, the suspects fled empty handed.
The spree began on August 9th and the robbers have gotten away with at least $25,000, the New York Daily News reported.