Brooklyn, NY-A federal prosecutor in New York said Friday that the case of a suspected serial bank robber accused of committing a heist in Brooklyn hours after being released from custody shows that the state’s newly enacted bail reform is making New Yorkers less safe.
Prosecutors say Gerod Woodberry, 42, entered a Chase Bank branch in Brooklyn on Jan. 10 and handed a note to a teller that said, “THIS IS A ROBBERY BIG BILLS ONLY NO DYE PACKS.”
Woodberry fled with approximately $1,000 in cash.
Authorities say the robbery followed a spree in which Woodberry robbed four New York City banks between Dec 30 and Jan 8.
Woodberry was arrested after the Jan 8 robbery, but was released on Jan 10 under the stated bail reform law. He then robbed a Brooklyn bank hours after being released from jail.
“No sound, rational and fair criminal justice system requires the pretrial release of criminal defendants who demonstrate such determination to continuously commit serious crimes,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement, adding, “The recent reforms have made a bad situation worse by entirely excluding classes of purportedly “nonviolent” felonies — like the bank robberies here — from pretrial confinement eligibility.”
Woodberry turned himself in Friday after being sought by federal agents who took over the case because he continued to be released.
William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Office, tweeted about Woodberry’s arrest Friday, saying “You may think you can walk away from your crimes, but when the FBI/NYPD task forces have jurisdiction and the ability to stop criminal behavior, you will be held accountable.”
“If you think bail is an issue, what happens if he posted it?” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a longtime advocate of bail reform. “All bail reform does is equalize people who have money with people who don’t have money.”