By Andrew Wroblewski and Jano Tantongco
Suffolk police said a man robbed a Chase Bank in Elwood this afternoon.
Police said a man entered the bank, located in the Huntington Square Mall on Jericho Turnpike, around 2:37 p.m. and announced he was holding up the bank. He then went behind the teller counter and removed cash from a drawer before fleeing in an unknown direction.
Police described the suspect as 30-40 years old with a medium build, and between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8. He wore a black mask, grey hooded jacket and jeans.
The scene remained active with law enforcement officials as of 5:30 p.m. Suffolk County Police Pattern Crime Unit detectives are investigating the incident.
As a police officer was responding to the robbery in his vehicle, he crashed into a second vehicle at the intersection of Harned Road and Veterans Memorial Highway in Commack around 2:45 p.m., police said. The second vehicle then hit a third car.
The woman driving the second car was brought to Huntington Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Neither police office nor the woman in the third car were brought to the hospital.
Cesar Herrera, 34, was on his way to make a deposit at the Chase around 5:15 p.m. when he saw the police tape surrounding the bank.
“I was going to deposit a check for $4,000. Thank God I didn't do it earlier,” Herrera said. “I would have been robbed, too.”
Herrera said he works around the corner at a local print shop that makes regular make deposits at the bank.
“I hope Long Island can fix itself,” said Herrera. “I hope the police and the people can come together and actually work together to fix the problem.”
Police ask anyone with information on the robbery to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.