Alleged Queens Bank Robber Busted For Botched Heist

Jonathan Sperling

It was one heist too many, prosecutors say.

A man who allegedly held up two Queens banks, along with seven others in Brooklyn and Manhattan, was indicted Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said Tuesday.

Richard Wardell Johnson, 63, allegedly held up a Chase Bank in an unidentified neighborhood of Queens on April 23, 2018 and another Chase Bank in Queens on April 30. In addition, he stuck up seven other banks throughout the city before being arrested while attempting to rob an M&T bank branch in Brooklyn on May 18.

During his final robbery attempt, Johnson passed a note to the teller, stating “DON’T TOUCH THAT ALARM! $2000.00 NO DUMMY PACK. IF I SHOOT SOMEONE ITS ON YOU!” Johnson will be arraigned at a later date.

The NYPD arrested Johnson after he fled the bank.

“As alleged, Richard Wardell Johnson robbed and attempted to rob nine banks across three New York City boroughs in less than a month,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “This Office and our law enforcement partners will ensure that criminals who endanger bank employees and members of our communities will be held responsible.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said Johnson threatened violence during each robbery.

“Focusing merely on a quick and easy profit, Johnson put innocent lives around him in danger,” Sweeney said. “Now that his chain of robberies has come to an end, Johnson will rightfully be brought to justice.”