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Serial bank robber charged in KeyBank robbery in Amherst

A Cheektowaga man was arrested Thursday and charged in connection with the robbery of a KeyBank branch on Main Street in Amherst earlier this week, officials said.

Thomas Cascio, 51, has seven previous convictions for bank robbery, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which filed the complaint against Cascio for Monday's robbery at a KeyBank branch at 5200 Main St. in Amherst.

According to investigators, Cascio allegedly walked into the bank shortly before 1 p.m., wearing a hard hat, safety vest and eye goggles, and approached a teller with a note.

The teller told investigators she recalled reading the word “robbery” at the top of the note and instructions to "hurry up" and to not give him any "funny money," before Cascio took back the note, according to officials.

The teller told authorities she gave Cascio money and he allegedly left the bank, officials said.

Amherst Police late Monday circulated a surveillance photo of the bank robbery suspect and requested the public's help in identifying the suspect, officials said.

By Tuesday, investigators said, a total of eight people had contacted the Amherst Police Department and the FBI identifying Cascio as the alleged suspect. There also were several anonymous calls to the Amherst Police Department's tip line that identified him as the man wanted by authorities.

In 2000, Cascio was convicted in federal court of four bank robberies and sentenced to two years in prison. According to federal officials, Cascio’s movements  in those robberies were similar to his alleged movements in Monday's robbery, including taking the note back from the teller before leaving the bank.

In 2009, Cascio was convicted in state court of three bank robberies and served two years in prison.

Cascio made an initial appearance Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and was detained afterwards.

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