New Haven alleged serial bank robber remains in custody
NEW HAVEN — A man suspected of being a serial bank robber was nabbed and remained in custody Friday.
Andre Stephon Edwards, 40, of 96 Grandview Ave., Hamden is being held at the New Haven Correctional Center in lieu of $99,000 bail, following his arrest on three counts of of second-degree robbery, the state Department of Correction website shows.
The arrest, city police said in a release, was the result of fast and diligent work by detectives, who determined that in each of the three incidents Edwards is suspected in, a taxi was used as a getaway vehicle.
“They worked quickly but conscientiously. They were racing against time,” said Lt. Herbert Johnson, the Detective Division’s supervisor. “Would the frequency of the robberies increase? Would the robber become more daring?”
The incidents began just before 9 a.m. Nov. 6 when a man entered the Key Bank at 195 Church St, and passed a note to the teller demanding cash, police said in the release. After taking the money, the man took back his note, left the bank and then fled the scene in the taxi he had arrived in, police said.
Then, just before noon on Nov.11, a man fitting a similar description went to the Webster Bank branch at 894 Whalley Ave. and waited in line before demanding cash from a teller. In this incident, a dye-pack in the bag of money exploded as the suspect headed for the waiting taxi and the suspect fled on foot, taking only the money that was not stained with dye, police said.
In the third incident, the same man entered the Key Bank building at 201 Grand Ave. a little after 9 a.m. on Nov. 13, and demanded money, police said. A dye pack also exploded outside this bank as the suspect headed toward a waiting taxi.
As detectives Jessica Stone and Michael DeFonzo investigated, they found used clear surveillance images and “the uniqueness of using taxicabs to flee the scene of the crime,” police said. After determining the three alleged robberies were committed by the same man, the detectives learned the third cabbie was able to remember his fare’s destination: the Econo Lodge motel, 370 Highland St. West Haven.
With the help of West Haven police, New Haven police located Edwards and he was arrested.
“There were three avenues the detectives went down. Each had intersections. These investigations needed to be connected at so many of them. The detectives in the department’s Robbery & Burglary Unit followed the map they’d made in expert fashion,’ unit supervisor Sgt. Gary Hammill said in the release.
Assistant Police Chief Achilles “Archie” Generoso praised the work of the unit, the detectives and patrol officers, as well the help from West Haven police.
“We’re thankful the robber was apprehended hastily and before someone was harmed,” he said.