Burglary Crew Nabbed, Murdered Gambino Mobster's Son Included

A Brooklyn-based bank burglary crew that included a murdered Gambino crime family mobster's son was arrested yesterday morning and charged in Manhattan's Southern District.

Reputedly, Michael Mazzara, 44, Charles Kerrigan, 40, and Anthony Mascuzzio, 36, (the Gambino member's son, who previously was identified as a Gambino associate himself) evaded federal agents for months after committing their first heist this past April. Their MO was to cut holes in the roofs of Brooklyn and Queens-based banks.

A Brooklyn-based bank burglary crew that included a murdered Gambino crime family associate's son were arrested yesterday
John Gotti at 1988 funeral of "Shorty" Mascuzzio whose son was arrested.

The trio has been indicted for robbing a total of around $5 million in cash and valuables, authorities said Tuesday. (Though they are being looked at for as many as 10 additional robberies, as noted below.)

They were able to fund lavish lifestyles for months, officials said, until it all came crashing down yesterday when FBI agents raided Mazzara’s Gravesend, Brooklyn, home, where the FBI seized four trucks and several toolboxes allegedly involved in the robberies.

The three suspects are charged with bank burglary and conspiracy and face as many as 20 years in prison each. 

Mazzara was released on $2 million bond; he has been ordered to wear an ankle bracelet. Mascuzzio's lawyer reportedly is working on getting a bail package together. Kerrigan was released on a $150,000 bond and also was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet.

“In the dark of the night, these defendants allegedly blowtorched their way through the roofs and into the vaults of two different banks, stealing over $5 million in cash and customer valuables kept in safe deposit boxes," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a press release announcing the arrests.

"Through their brazen bank heists, the defendants allegedly stole not just people’s money, but their memories too..."

However, the crew made mistakes -- and that, along with "good old-fashioned police work led to the charges and arrests."

“The Mazzara bank robbery crew [members] were allegedly after the money, but they also took heirlooms, jewelry, documents and family photos and tossed them aside. Those items held little value to the men accused in this case, but we hope the community finds some solace in the fact that they will no longer be able to commit these thefts,” added FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriquez.

Noting that the heists seemed like something out of the Al Pacino-Robert De Niro film Heat, NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said that the crew "was well organized, meticulous, and elusive to law enforcement. This investigation was conducted with painstaking persistence."

"Left with few clues after the heists, our crime scene teams hunted for every shred of evidence. From the plywood purchased at a nearby Home Depot, to the torches from a Brooklyn welder used to muscle into the vault, the picture slowly came into focus, resulting in today’s arrests and charges."

To download a PDF of the indictment, click here.

Mascuzzio’s father, Anthony Mascuzzio Sr., was described as an associate of the Gambino crime family when John Gotti was boss. Mascuzzio was fatally shot in the basement of the Bedrox Disco on West 49th Street in Manhattan in 1988 by the owner, David Fisher. Mascuzzio was allegedly extorting him.

Defendant Mazzara was shot and wounded in 2009 during what's described as a "dispute at a Brooklyn marina. (A police official, at the news conference, confirmed the links to both men.)"

The men are being looked at in 10 other robberies, sources told the New York Post.

In addition to leaving behind their equipment (a mistake the crew made in the film Heat) which was described as important evidence, investigators also relied on surveillance video and cellphone tower records to find the three.

The crew hit its first bank, the indictment said, on the weekend of April 8. They cut a hole through the roof of the HSBC bank located at 4406 13th Ave. in Borough Park and made off with $330,000 in both cash and valuables, stolen from safe-deposit boxes. They failed to bring with them oxygen and acetylene tanks, which were abandoned on the bank's roof.

Over the weekend of May 20 they hit the Rego Park Maspeth Federal Savings Bank at 64-19 Woodhaven Blvd., again using a blowtorch to cut the roof. This time, they even built a small wooden hut to provide them with cover. Some $296,000 in cash and $4.3 million in valuables were taken from the safe-deposit boxes. Among the stolen loot: diamonds, jewelry, rare baseball cards and coins. Again, the trio left behind on the roof some of their tools, including grinding wheels and acetylene tanks.

“From the plywood purchased at a nearby Home Depot, to the torches from a Brooklyn welder used to muscle into the vault, the picture slowly came into focus,” Bratton said.

The three men -- who splurged new cars, motorcycles, water scooters, boats, and trips to Las Vegas and Miami -- returned to their Brooklyn homes seemingly totally unaware of the intense surveillance on them prior to their arrests.

One Robber Tried Suing NYPD 

Accusing NYPD members of breaking his finger and wrist during a violent struggle for his late father’s Rolex watch, Mascuzzio (arrested Tuesday) filed a lawsuit seeking $2 million in damages in 2013, according to the New York Daily News.

In the report, Mascuzzio was reputed to be a Gambino associate with a rap sheet that included a conviction for using a baseball bat on a man (who also had tried to steal his father's watch, he alleged).

The watch belonged to Gambino soldier Anthony "Shorty" Mascuzzio, who was shot to death in 1988 in the basement of a West Side disco after he pistol-whipped the owner, who "Shorty" allegedly was extorting.

Previously, the elder Mascuzzio was known for feeding the crowds of people waiting outside the courthouse at Gotti’s 1987 racketeering trial. He offered the Gotti supporters appetizers and heroes from an Italian deli on Court St.