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4 SEIZED IN BANK HOLDUP AFTER DYE PACK EXPLODES

Authorities apprehended four suspects following a bank robbery in Buffalo at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, thanks to a 911 call from a man who witnessed a dye pack exploding, police said.

One of the suspects is believed to be a serial robber, responsible for several recent robberies throughout the city, police added.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the HSBC branch at 2635 Main St., near Amherst Street, was held up when a man handed a note to a teller, who handed back some cash with the concealed dye pack.

Moments later, police heard from the 911 caller, who said he saw a man surrounded in orange smoke jump out of a car trunk on East Morris Avenue, just a block away from the bank. Police said the caller witnessed the dye packs exploding.

The suspect, a female driver and another woman were arrested a short time later, police said. A third woman, also a suspect in the heist, was arrested at about 7 p.m. at Main and Northampton streets.

The names of the four suspects, who were turned over to the FBI, have not been released pending arraignments expected today in federal court.

Police said a serial robber targeted several banks in recent weeks, including the Bank of America on East Delavan Monday and the M&T Bank branch in the Broadway Market last Wednesday.

"We owe kudos to that (911 caller) because if it wasn't for him, we would have never gotten the guy," said Chief Mark S. Antonio, head of patrol for the Ferry-Fillmore and Northeast districts. "It just goes to show you that when citizens get involved, it helps police officers tremendously."

Police said they also confiscated a loaded .380-caliber revolver and impounded the suspected getaway car.

The suspect surprised by the dye pack was being treated for burns and other injuries Tuesday evening, according to Maureen Dempsey, an FBI spokeswoman.

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com
and tpignataro@buffnews.com

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