Brother and sister team busted in bank heists
New York Daily News
Daily News Police Bureau
August 22, 2006
The family that robs together, gets caught together.
A brother – and sister bank – robbery team was busted yesterday after cops staked out a West Side methadone clinic, where the male half of the team was getting treatment, police said. Joe Kirby, 23, who is homeless, and his sister, Shemini, 20, of the Bronx, were charged with robbing at least three Manhattan bank branches this month.
Cops were hunting for a male and female team – including a male suspect who resembled actor Ashton Kutcher – since bank surveillance footage showed them pulling off one of the heists at an Independence Bank branch on East 86th St.
Sgt. Mike King and Detective William Carson of the 20th Precinct had a hunch the robbers might be drug addicts, so they staked out a methadone clinic on West 52nd St. and Ninth Ave.
Within a few minutes they spotted a man who was a dead ringer for the suspect from the surveillance footage.
“Sure enough, here comes our friend,” said a police source. “He comes walking out and within seconds he’s cuffed and in the back of their car.”
Joe Kirby quickly agreed to help cops nab his sister, sources said.
Shortly after his bust, he called Shemini Kirby and told her to show up for another bank robbery on West 57th St. Instead of easy cash, cops from the major case squad were waiting for her.
The Kirby duo was charged with robbing the Independence branch, as well as a North Fork Bank and Commerce Bank branch, all during the second week of this month.
In each heist, Joe Kirby allegedly passed threatening notes to tellers while Shemini waited outside. They fled with cash from each bank.