Bank Robber Shot in Florida Once Tied to Colombos

A Martin County Sheriff's Deputy with 13 years of experience shot a bank burglar early last Monday morning in Florida.

The robber, Gerard Bellafiore, 47, has more experience at his job -- robbing banks using an improvised fish hook -- than the deputy does enforcing the law. He's been robbing banks since around the early 1980s, working back then with former mobsters such as Chris Paciello and James "Jimmy" Calandra.

Bellafiore "was associated through default to (Vincent) Chikie DeMartino," said a mob source.
Surveillance photos of Bellafiore at work before being shot multiple times.
A Mafia member told Cosa Nostra News that Bellafiore at one time had ties to a Colombo mobster. "He was associated through default to (Vincent) Chikie DeMartino," said the source, noting that DeMartino spells his nickname that way, not as others spell it.

DeMartino, he added, "was one of the leading shooters on the (Vittorio "Little Vic") Orena side," as well as "one of the most dangerous guys on the street during the Colombo war, a lifelong criminal."

But Bellafiore flipped, testified against a lot of people -- only he turned down WitSec and was arrested again and again for bank burglary. He's probably facing quite a long stretch, all things considered.

Monday morning Bellafiore was wearing a mask and hefting a customized gaff hook, basically a large, handled hook used to gut fish. He'd been attempting to rob the night-deposit box at Chase Bank on U-S 1 in Jensen Beach when a Martin County sheriff’s deputy arrived in response to reports of a robbery in progress.

The deputy fired several shots at Bellafiore, who managed to scramble into his vehicle and start to drive away. The officer apparently kept firing at Bellafiore as he tried speeding away.

Bellafiore, 47,  "crashed his car into a tree before he got out of the parking lot, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said," according to the Palm Beach Post.

Bellafiore liked living large. (The busty babes are not aliens, their faces
have merely been blurred by yours truly.)

Bellafiore appeared to be following his decades-old MO: with his gaff hook, he'd sliced the cover off the deposit box. Then he was lowering the device, which included a flashlight, down inside to try to reel in what would've been a major haul due to the holiday weekend.

Authorities believe Bellafiore knew what he was doing, and they couldn't be more correct.

According to court documents, Bellafiore and 12 others were charged with racketeering in 2000 in New York and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Then in 2009, Bellafiore and four others were sentenced to prison for six-and-a-half years for multiple bank burglaries in South Florida.

The deputy was not hurt in the attack.

Bellafiore is in the hospital in stable condition.

Charges are pending.

(Would a career criminal like Bellafiore really attack a cop with a fishing gaffe? He knows the cop has bullets in the gun he's wearing, right? Just speculating.)

During coverage of the 2005 trial of mob-linked bank robber Edmund Boyle, The New York Post ran a story about Bellafiore. Written by Kati Cornell Smith, it was titled Jury learns how to rob a bank and began with:
A burly bank burglar who confessed to hundreds of heists that netted more than $5 million schooled jurors on the art of emptying night-deposit boxes, as he fingered an alleged past cohort for seven jobs.
Clad in cat-burglar-black, Gerard Bellafiore gave step-by-step instructions on how to case a bank and yank a night-deposit box from the wall. 
Jurors were shown tools of the trade seized from Bellafiore in 2000, including a 3-foot crowbar and a fishing gaffe. 
“You could go there and pull it off the wall, and guess what: You made $300,000,” Bellafiore, 34, told jurors at the trial of Edmund Boyle.

Boyle was charged with stealing $1.1 million in a series of bank robberies and burglaries.

He'd been caught "red-handed sticking a gaffing hook down a safe."

The mob source told Cosa Nostra News that Bellafiore was a member of "what was first dubbed the bank crew." He also "started stealing cars for me," the source said.

This site has video of Bellafiore's flying Corvette aftermath. 
However link seems to work only on desktops.

In the 1980s, Bellafiore worked alongside Chris Ludwigsen (Paciello), Tommy Dono, Beck Fiseku, Afrim Kupa and others

Jerry Capeci wrote of him in a 2011 report (paid subscription required), "His New York crime buddies didn’t call him Skeevy for nothing. Gerard Bellafiore is an outlaw who knows how to play the system – the criminal justice system, that is.

"Arrested in June 2000 as a prolific bank robber and facing 15 years in prison, Bellafiore flipped and fingered dozens of cohorts linked to several mob families. In 2003, after 40 months behind bars, he promised to change... and was released on bail.

"But there were more scrapes to come. One was a 5AM police chase along Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach. His brand new Corvette hit a curb, went airborne and landed atop two sports utility vehicles, causing chain-reaction serious damage to other cars at a Chevrolet dealership.

In 2009, Bellafiore and four other men pleaded guilty to a string of bank burglaries in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to the FBI. The burglaries resulted in at least nine banks losing around $450,000.

In each bank job, Bellafiore used his handheld  fish hook device to open the night depository box, while his accomplices served as lookouts.

He was only released from prison three months ago.

Waxing philosophically about Bellafiore, the source said, "He tried going legit but it did not work out for him. I believe it was out of desperation that he went on (this latest) burglary."

A second mob source -- known to have robbed banks with Bellafiore -- basically confirmed what the other source said.

Added the first source, "John Gotti talked about him in his WITSEC Mafia video so they are going to hammer him."

UPDATE: Our New York mob source contacted us this morning with additional information regarding Gerard Bellafiore.

He showed us a Facebook page that he said was Gerard's. 

And also gave us more of an update on what Bellafiore had been attempting professionally.

"He was trying to pick up were he left off, in the music industry.

"He had plans on going legit," the source added. But he was beset by roadblocks, such as "he could not DJ as his extensive collection of equipment was all obsolete, so his system was incompatible with the digital equipment commonly used today in nightclubs."

The source confirmed that Gerard refused to enter the Witness Protection program, even though he was eligible. 

"He hoped he could get six months in a halfway house, but the BOP refused him... So when his sentence ran out he was released from a witness unit and flown back to Miami where he tried for a short time but failed at going legit.

"I guess he went for broke, and decided to go and buy his tools of the trade, and drove all night until he found a night drop that looked good to him," the source said (no, none of you know him -- whoever you think this source is, he's not) , when provided with the details of what happened to Bellafiore and asked for his speculation on what had happened.

"Knowing his MO, he went to work on the box, got it opened, and set off the alarm. From the media reports it seems like the new technology (that allows) the alarm company to log on to the cameras, which spotted him breaking into the night drop. The alarm company must have called it in as a confirmed burglary in progress."

He believes Gerard's description probably would have gone out, and that he'd speculate that "the cop snuck up on him, and he tried to run with the gaff in hand." 

"The cop must have yelled for him to stop, and he kept running -- so the cop fired his weapon supposedly seven times, but we will never know what happened because Gerard is a white male, and no on cares that a cop shot him, especially because he has an extensive criminal history. He has spent at least 15 years in prison, and Gerard Bellafiore is a product of The Thief Crew, out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn."