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Robbers Ran Out of Smarts, N.Y. Police Say; 2 Held

<i> From Associated Press</i>

They were clever enough to penetrate the World Trade Center’s tight security, clever enough to grab a $1-million Brink’s shipment. But then, police say, the three bandits turned out to be dumb, dumber and dumbest.

They pulled off their ski masks before walking past hidden security cameras, and within hours their faces were all over TV and the newspapers. Then they went home to their close-knit Brooklyn neighborhood, where dozens of people called the police.

“Me and my friend Joey opened the newspaper and said, ‘Holy cow! There’s Mikey!’ ” said 39-year-old Bill Stout, who tends bar at a neighborhood tavern catering to off-duty cops and firefighters.

They called a police hotline, “but apparently 50 or 60 people beat us to it,” Stout said.

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By Thursday, two of the three suspects were in FBI custody. Melvin Desmond Folk, 44, was arrested at home Wednesday night and charged with bank robbery. Michael Reed, 34, was arrested Thursday.

A fugitive warrant was issued for Richard Gillette, 39.

The men escaped with $1.17 million.

The three accosted two Brink’s guards on their way to a Bank of America foreign currency office on the 11th floor of one of the twin towers during Tuesday’s morning rush hour. Flashing a gun, they handcuffed and bound the guards and five other people on the elevator, snatched three bags of money from a cart--leaving three others behind--and fled.

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The New York-New Jersey Port Authority, which owns the twin towers, declined to say how the bandits managed to foil the tight security in force since the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993.


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