Police are on the hunt for two men who attacked an ATM maintenance worker, then made off with tens of thousands of dollars after a cash-filled bag was ripped open, spilling money onto a Bronx street.
The 27-year-old man walked out of a Capital One bank near Buhre Avenue in Pelham Baycarrying a plastic bag containing $48,000 to dispense to different ATMs at around 12:45 p.m. on March 8, police said.
He didn't make it far — as he was crossing, a man ran up on him and ripped the bag out of his hands, leaving thousands spread across the sidewalk.
"I came right after it happened," said Pelham Bay resident Isaac Wynn. "There was money flying everywhere."
The attack happened in the blink of an eye. Surveillance video shows the victim grabbing the thief across the chest and shoving him face-down to the ground, attempting to subdue the robber as he quickly tries to collect as many loose bills as possible.
Sergio Calderon, who works nearby, says he ran to the scene once he heard people screaming.
"The only thing I heard is 'hey, stop!' things like that," he said. "People were screaming. I run over there and I see all the money on the floor and guy grab bag and run away."
The men engaged in a brief struggle before a second individual brazenly punched the victim as the thief picked up a bundle of money worth $21,500, then fled the scene with his accomplice, authorities said. Even in fighting back, the worker only recovered half the money.
Pelham Bay resident Victoria was shocked to hear about the theft, but says the victim should have been more careful about carrying a large sum of money.
"Somebody must've been watching him and saw him come out. That's money that he worked for," she said. "I know other people came to help pick up money leftover, he should have had security, carrying money like that, he should've put it in a briefcase to be more secure."
Police said the victim sustained minor injuries to his face and was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Authorities believe the men are around 5 feet 10 inches tall. One has facial hair, and was last seen wearing black pants, a white hoodie and white sneakers. His accomplice was last seen wearing brown pants, a black hoodie and black sneakers.
The NYPD asks anyone with information regarding the theft to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or submit them online by logging onto the crime stoppers website.