QUEENS — Police arrested a man they say robbed six Chase bank branches in Queens and one in The Bronx over the past 3 months — thanks in part to an analysis of his Instagram account, authorities said.
Investigators nabbed Paul Lubin, 31, of Florida, on Thursday and charged him with seven counts of robbery, the NYPD said.
Detectives and FBI agents were able to link Lubin to the pattern thanks in part to his Instagram account, where he posted a photo in which he appears to be wearing the same "distinctive white hooded sweatshirt with black horizontal lines" that the suspect wore in a robbery on Dec. 27 at a Chase Bank at 54-12 48 St. in Maspeth, according to his criminal complaint. The suspect was able to steal $5,000 during that incident, authorities said.
In one of the photos posted on Instagram, he also photographed a pile of cash next to him.
Investigators were able to recover his fingerprints from a bank deposit slip that matched those obtained from a law-enforcement database, authorities said.
In each case, the suspect approached a teller and passed a note demanding money and he was handed cash without displaying a weapon, police said. In his notes, he claimed to be armed.
“I am heavily armed. DO NOT DO Anything stupid. Put $5,000 in one envelope. DO NOT PISS ME OFF! Everyone’s SAFETY Depends ALL ON YOU!" he wrote in one of the notes, according to his criminal complaint.
In total, he made off with nearly $25,000, police said.
The most recent robbery took place on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at about 1:45 p.m., when the suspect walked into a Chase bank at 3528 East Tremont Ave. in The Bronx, and fled with $6,000 to $7,000, officials said.
The crime spree began on Sept. 30, when the suspect robbed a Chase branch in Kew Gardens Hills. Since then, he has robbed branches in Glendale, Bayside, Jamaica Estates and Richmond Hill.
Lubin is also a suspect in six bank robberies that took place in Florida between 2004 and 2013, police said.