NYC police commissioner announces arrest in 'bouquet bandit' bank robberies case
NEW YORK – A man dubbed the "bouquet bandit" because he held fresh flowers while robbing a Manhattan bank was arrested Wednesday at a Brooklyn home where he was hiding in a closet, police said.
The publicity generated by a security photo — including front-page headlines in the city's tabloids — led to tips naming 44-year-old Edward Pemberton, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said while announcing the arrest.
Police officials later said that during questioning, Pemberton implicated himself in six bank heists since 2008. In one last year, he showed up with roses but left empty-handed, police said.
The New York Police Department released the security photo on Monday amid a manhunt for a robber who walked into a bank last week carrying a bouquet neatly bundled in pink tissue paper and plastic. Hidden inside the arrangement was a note that read, "Give me all your $100s, $50s. Don't be a hero."
A teller gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash. He fled on foot, leaving the flowers behind.
Police say the same man appeared at another Manhattan bank on July 10 holding a similar threatening note under a leafy plant. He reached over the counter grabbed the cash before fleeing. The potted plant stayed.
Pemberton had a history of arrests on drug charges and other petty offenses, police said. Charges in the bank robbery cases were pending.
Kelly said the suspect had a legitimate — and revealing — line of work.
"He did odd jobs in the flower district," he said. "Very odd jobs."