New York bank robber wearing a wig, caught thanks to taxi driver

A bank robber wearing a long black wig robbed a Manhattan bank in and was busted with a little help from a taxi driver
photo: New York Post

A bank robber wearing a long black wig robbed a Manhattan bank in and was busted with a little help from a taxi driver, New York Post reported.

John Sidney, 46, also known as Madea Sidney entered the Chase Bank on Sixth Avenue near West 4th Street at noon and passed a teller a note demanding money, NYPD said. The teller handed over $500 and the thief bolted.

The bank robber, Sidney quickly hailed a yellow taxi and asked for a ride to West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, said driver Thierno Diakhate, who thought Sidney was a woman. It was not clear if Sidney was in disguise or is transgender.

Once they hit 14th Street, Sidney announced a change of plans and asked to be taken to Brooklyn.

“I took Flatbush Avenue, and made a left onto Fulton, went all the way down to Gates Avenue, where I got a call from an police officer,” said Diakhate, 33. “My cell phone was ringing, but I could not pick it up because I was driving.”

But once he reached his be-wigged passenger’s destination on Gates Avenue near Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant, he finally glanced at his cell phone.

“I realized I got five missed calls,” Diakhate said. “I saw I got a message from an police officer of a picture of the lady. In the message, the officer said, ‘We sent you this picture because we believe this lady got into your car.’ The police officer said the lady robbed a bank in Manhattan. I texted the police officer back, ‘She’s still in my car.’”

New York taxi driver Thierno Diakhate (photo: New York Post)

NYPD detectives apparently got Diakhate’s cell number from the taxi company.

Sidney soon asked to leave the car, only to wait outside for a few minutes and get back inside with a man who asked to be dropped off about three blocks away. Sidney handed him something before he got out of the car, the cabby said.

Sidney exited minutes later, at Throop Avenue and Van Buren Street, Diakhate said.

“I was waiting for which building she was going to enter, where she was going to go,” he added.

As instructed, he drove to the nearest traffic light to meet police officers.

“When officers got into the car, when we were heading up to where I dropped her off, we saw her try to get into another taxi,” Diakhate said.

The bank robber, Sidney was instead busted and charged with robbery.

Diakhate, a cabby for three years and is taking accounting classes, had one complaint: Sidney was cheap on the tip. “The fare was $41.42,” he groused. “She gave me $50 and asked for $5 back.”

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