A man who works for a press agency that covers the United Nations was arrested in connection with a string of bank robberies in Midtown over the past month and a half, law enforcement sources tell News 4 New York.
The NYPD’s Major Case Squad arrested Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, of Queens, on Monday at his office at the Foreign Press Centers across from the United Nations building. Police believe he robbed banks while on work breaks.
Law enforcement sources say Shuaibu robbed a HSBC bank at 40th Street and Third Avenue on Monday and then returned to work shortly before he was arrested. They say he’s wanted in at least three other bank robberies.
Shuaibu once worked as a communication specialist at the United Nations, spending two months there in 2013, according to a U.N. spokesperson. He was no longer employed there, however, and was apparently working for the Nigerian Press, which covers the United Nations. A photo on Facebook shows him shaking hands with a U.N. official inside the General Assembly.
Police believe he’s the man who robbed a Santander Bank on Madison Avenue on Feb. 27, a Bank of America on Third Avenue on March 13, and a Santander Bank on Third Avenue on March 27. In each of the robberies, the suspect passed a note to a clerk demanding money.
Police charged Shuaibu with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.
Surveillance videos from the banks show a man carrying out the robberies while on a cell phone and wearing white-tipped gloves.
Editor's Note: A previous version of the story Monday characterized Shuaibu as an employee for the United Nations, per sources. A message left with the U.N. was returned Tuesday stating that he was no longer employed there.