Robbers accused of burrowing through bank ceilings are charged

By Jamie Schram, Kaja Whitehouse and Philip Messing

The NYPD investigates the scene of the bank robbery in Brooklyn.
Three members of a New York burglary crew — including the son of a murdered Gambino crime-family associate — cut holes through the roofs of banks in Brooklyn and Queens and made off with $5million in cash and valuables, authorities said Tuesday.
Suspects Michael Mazzara, 44, Charles Kerrigan, 40, and Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, managed to evade arrest for months after their first heist in April, and make off with enough loot to fund a lavish lifestyle, officials said.
“They bought new cars and motorcycles, Jet Skis and boats,” FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez said at a joint press conference with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.
“They partied in Las Vegas and took trips to Miami while residents of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and Rego Park [Queens] got taken to the cleaners.”
The men are being looked at in 10 other robberies, sources said. Bratton said their methods reminded him of a favorite film.
“These heists resembled scenes from the movie ‘Heat,’ said Bratton, referring to the 1995 crime drama with Robert de Niro and Al Pacino. [It was] the work of a crew that was well-organized, meticulous and elusive to law enforcement.”
Investigators tied the suspects to the crimes when the crooks made the same mistake as the fictional holdup artists in “Heat” — they left some of their equipment behind at the crime scene, Bharara said.
As in the film, investigators were able to track down the buyers of the equipment.
Investigators also were able to connect the three men to the crimes with the help of surveillance video and cellphone tower records pinpointing their locations.
“These bank jobs also left enough of a trace for the FBI and NYPD, whose good old-fashioned police work led to the charges and arrests announced today,” Bharara said.
One of the crooks has a colorful criminal pedigree. Mascuzzio’s father, Anthony Mascuzzio Sr., was a close pal of legendary Gambino boss John Gotti.
He was fatally shot in the basement of the Bedrox Disco on West 49th Street in Manhattan in 1988 by the owner, David Fisher, whom Mascuzzio was allegedly extorting.
The younger Mascuzzio and his cohorts first struck over the weekend of April 8 at the HSBC branch at 4406 13th Ave. in Borough Park, where they got onto the bank’s roof by jumping over from the roof of a neighboring building that was under construction.
They then used a blowtorch to cut a large hole in the roof that allowed them to descend into the vault unseen. They also cut the bank’s alarms and phone lines, court papers state.
They took $330,000 in cash and other valuables from safe-deposit boxes and then fled, leaving behind oxygen and acetylene tanks on the roof.
The trio struck again over the weekend of May 20 at the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank at 64-19 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park, according to the papers.
They again used a blowtorch to carve a hole in the roof while being shielded by a makeshift wooden hut before climbing into the vault with a ladder.
They stole $296,000 in cash and $4.3 million in valuables from safe-deposit boxes, including diamonds, jewelry, rare baseball cards and coins.
Again, cops found the trio’s tools abandoned on the roof, including grinding wheels and acetylene tanks.
“From the plywood purchased at a nearby Home Depot, to the torches from a Brooklyn welder used to muscle into the vault, the picture slowly came into focus,” Bratton said.
FBI agents on Tuesday raided Mazzara’s home in Gravesend, Brooklyn, confiscating four trucks and also taking several boxes of tools. Mazzara was granted $2 million bond Tuesday and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Mascuzzio was working up a bail package Tuesday and Kerrigan was released on a $150,000 bond and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet.