CITY OF NEWBURGH – Police are searching for two armed men who stormed into the Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union Newburgh branch just before it opened Monday morning and fled with over $200,000.
Wearing ski masks and armed with a handgun and a knife, the men forced their way into the 2 Corwin Court branch around 8:10 a.m. as a single employee prepared the bank for opening, according to police and the credit union.
After a second employee arrived, the suspects raided the bank’s vault and then fled in a light-colored four-door sedan. No one was injured.
“They had their faces covered, so you kind of knew what was going on,” said Michael Ciriello, the credit union’s CEO. “They waited for the second employee to come and then they went into the bank vault.”
Five hours after the robbery police released two surveillance photos, one showing the suspects inside the bank and the other showing their getaway car.
The first man is described as a thinly built, light-skinned black male; 5 feet, 9 inches tall; and wearing dark glasses, a burgundy hoodie and black pants with a grey stripe. He also wore gloves with a yellow stripe and held a grey and black backpack, police said.
The second suspect has a stocky build and stood between 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 5 feet, 9 inches, police said. He wore black sweatpants, a black shirt, a blue and white bandana and green and gold sneakers, police said.
The two employees were shaken but followed protocol, Ciriello said.
“Some people stop thinking in situations like that, but these two ladies really did an excellent job,” he said.
It was the second robbery at the branch in less than nine months. In December 2014, a robber stole $21,881 at gunpoint from the bank after entering the branch and ordering an employee to the floor.
In response to that robbery the credit union increased the number of cameras and replaced older ones with newer, high-definition ones, Ciriello said. Now HHFCU will consider additional steps, including the hiring of private security, he said.
It also has no immediate plans to close the Newburgh branch, which has been opened for at least 25 years, Ciriello said.
“It’s not likely,” he said. “We’ve been there a long time.”
Still, the credit union must face frightened customers, even though deposits are insured up to $250,000.
Some customers found out about the robbery after pulling into the parking lot Monday morning and seeing a sign on the entrance door instructing them to use one of the credit union’s other branches.
“I don’t think my money’s that safe here,” said one woman, who did not want her name used, as she prepared to exit the parking lot. “I am concerned; I’m concerned for the tellers.”
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