Local security guard could lose job after nabbing bank robber

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man is expected to be connected to at least three bank hold-ups this week alone.

Each time, he’s gotten away — and only once, empty-handed.

Little did he know Thursday’s robbery at KeyBank on Elmwood would be the end of his latest crime streak.

But it could be the end of a career for the security guard who nabbed him, proving no good deed goes unpunished.

For the past five years, Jared Abramowitz has worked as an armed security guard at a variety of businesses, like the KeyBank, in the 200 block of Elmwood Avenue. It’s one of the branches that was held up Thursday, allegedly by Samuel Roberts, of Buffalo.

Police said it was the second bank he robbed within an hour, after attempting to rob the M&T Bank at 3500 Main St.

Police said Roberts on Tuesday robbed a KeyBank branch on Bailey Avenue.

Each time, he’s accused of approaching the teller with a note demanding money. He’s not believed to have shown a weapon in any incident.

Police and Abramowitz said Roberts grabbed the cash and made off for the door — another successful heist, had it not been for a security guard spurred to action.

“I asked the gentleman to stop. He began to start running, so I knew something was wrong,” he said. “As he took off, I kind of tackled him in the vestibule of the bank, struggled happened in the parking lot. I apprehended him, and the police and FBI showed up and we took down a bank robber.”

Abramowitz said authorities were highly complementary.

“They couldn’t say enough good things, praising me, saying I did a great job,” he said.

Abramowitz said he reacted according to years of training.

“Instincts kick in, and you just gotta do what you gotta do to prevent bad things from happening in society and to people in the bank,” he said.

But that feeling of accomplishment was only temporary.

“It feels pretty good in a way, but there were some consequences I had to deal with,” he said chuckling. “I may have lost my job.”

There’s no doubt he lost his job with KeyBank, who told the company for which he works, G4S, he’s no longer welcome to guard their branches.

It could also cost him a position with G4S, which among other places, employs security guards at City Hall.

Abramowitz said he realizes he overstepped his protocol. But he also said there’s a time for protocol, and there’s a time for action.

“It’s part of the job, and unfortunately, through KeyBank, that’s not part of the job,” he said. “They just want (me to) observe and report, just like a teller could do, just like a camera could do. So why would they have someone there with a gun? It makes no sense.

“I’m not one of those people not to do anything,” he added. “I have to do something.”

KeyBank representatives said they work with companies like G4S to staff their branches.

“We want to emphasize that we place a high priority on the safety of clients visiting our branches and employees in those branches,” wrote spokeswoman Jodi Johnston. “Our policies and protocol are focused on ensuring client and employee safety. For security reasons, we do not comment on specific security policies and procedures.”

Representatives from G4S said Abramowitz is still employed. But he’s also suspended pending an investigation.

In a statement, they wrote: “The safety and security of our employees, our clients and the public are our highest priority. G4S can confirm that an incident took place at a client site on January 5, 2017 involving G4S Security Officer Jared Abramowitz. According to our standard practices, Mr. Abramowitz is currently on paid administrative leave while the details of the incident are being investigated.”

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