It’s six degrees of incarceration.
A bone-headed thief who allegedly botched a bank robbery attempt in Bay Ridge on Sept. 29 was arrested later that day, but not for that particular hold up.
Instead, suspect Laurence Kearns, 45, was taken into custody for stealing a car a half mile from the bank he tried to rob, said police, who ultimately connected him to the bank robbery at the 68th Precinct station house.
“It was kind of funny,” said one police source. “We nabbed him for the bank robbery as he stood in front of the sergeant’s desk.”
Kearns, who already had nine arrests under his belt before his Wednesday marathon run-in with the law, walked into the Chase Bank at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 75th Street at 5 pm. Wearing a reflective vest and fisherman’s cap, everyone took notice as he passed a threatening note to a teller, but got nervous and fled before any money was handed over.
Detectives were pulling security camera footage of the heist when cops were alerted to a second incident, this time at a Gulf station near the corner of 67th Street and Fourth Avenue. A motorist claimed someone made off with his 2004 Cadillac Escalade as he ordered gas from inside the Gulf’s convenience store.
The SUV was unlocked and running at the time, police were told.
Cops spotted the vehicle in nearby Sunset Park, and when they pulled it over, Kearns was behind the wheel.
Kearns was taken to the 68th Precinct station house for processing, but, as luck would have it, his past crime, just a few hours old, came back to haunt him: A detective working the bank robbery walked by the sergeant’s desk as cops cataloged Kearns’ belongings and quickly made the connection.
“The detective had the surveillance photo from the bank robbery in his hands,” the source said. “He had to do a double-take. [Kearns] was still wearing the cap and the reflective vest.”
Police immediately charged him with both the bank robbery and the car theft. Later, investigators linked and charged Kearns to a second bank robbery — a Capital One Bank in Sunset Park, officials said.
Kearns had not been arraigned by late Friday. Attempts to reach his attorney were unsuccessful.