Ithaca police responded to two separate robbery cases last week and arrested two men on Thursday responsible for stealing from the Elmira Savings Bank on South Meadow Road and from a 71-year-old female, respectively.
On April 5, Benjamin Brancato entered the Elmira Savings Bank, pulled out a knife and demanded money from a teller. The teller complied with Brancato’s request and Brancato fled the scene, according to an IPD press release. The press release does not state how much money Brancato stole.
Eighteen minutes after police received the initial complaint of a robbery from the bank, an officer saw a subject matching the robber’s description hanging around a nearby commercial business. Brancato was positively identified by the bank’s employees and was secured in police custody “without incident,” the press release stated.
“I am thankful for the hard work by the officers who worked this case,” said City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. “Catching a bank robber less than twenty minutes after the robbery is a testament to their hard work and great teamwork.”
Ithaca police also reported that on the morning of April 1, a 71-year-old female was knocked to the ground and robbed of her purse, which contained her rosary beads, by Darryl Bradshaw, who later fled the scene on foot. The female, who was on her way to church on Easter Sunday, was not injured.
The police served a search warrant on Bradshaw’s apartment at the 150 West Village Place Apartment complex on April 5. The rosary beads were recovered from the search and Bradshaw was placed under police custody “without incident,” according to the press release.
“Our community and police officers can certainly relate to something as personal as rosary beads being stolen as they hold deep personal meaning, especially on Easter Sunday and it gives us great satisfaction that we were able to recover them,” said Vince Monticello, IPD deputy chief of police, in the press release.
Although there is no indication that the incidents are related, an elderly lady was also attacked and robbed of her purse last year on Easter Sunday while walking home from church. She received minor injuries while “struggling with her attacker,” according to a press release, The Sun previously reported.
Brancato has been charged with robbery in the first degree while Bradshaw was charged with robbery in the third degree and petit larceny. They were both sent to the Tompkins County Jail instead of paying $5,000 in cash or a $10,000 bond, respectively, according to the press releases.
“Crimes like this are thankfully rare in our city, but when they happen they can make us all feel less safe,” Myrick wrote in a Facebook post. “I am grateful to IPD for working so hard to make sure that suspects face justice.”