NY Police Arrest Edward Pemberton, Alleged Bouquet Bandit

By Jason Beahm on July 22, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Just because you have a unique idea doesn't necessarily make it clever. And it certainly doesn't make executing it advisable.

Alleged bank robber Edward Pemberton would have been wise to hold off on his trademark "Bouquet Bandit" routine. Pemberton allegedly robbed banks while carrying a bouquet of flowers or a potted plant. Pemberton, 44, was arrested Wednesday. Pemberton had become a popular figure in the tabloids during the two week search. He had his face splashed on a number of tabloid covers throughout the month. Police say the flowers may have been tied to Pemberton's previous line of work: he once worked in Manhattan's flower district.

Last Thursday, Pemberton allegedly hit the Bank of Smith Town on Seventh Avenue and West 18th Street, in New York just after 9 a.m. He allegedly approached the bank teller with a bouquet filled with flowers and baby's breath in a pink cellophane, handed over a demand note from inside the bouquet and said "Give me all your $100s, 50's, don't be a hero." Pemberton was not armed. The teller handed over $400.

After receiving money from the teller, the Bouquet Bandit left the scene. The teller was left with the note and the flowers. Although, unfortunately for the teller, they probably did not get to keep them as they were evidence of the robbery. Pemberton allegedly used a similar routine to rob Capital One  Bank on Ninth Avenue and West 23rd Street, on July 8, but he used a potted plant instead of flowers. Perhaps the diversification was designed to keep the police off of his trail. Might we suggest a mask next time instead?*

As CNN reports, New York has recently had a number of strange robberies, including an elderly man who tried to rob a clothing store while carrying a cane and dragging an oxygen tank.

While the Bouquet Bandit case makes for good laughs, its worth pointing out that robbing a bank is one of the least intelligent forms of crime. Penalties for bank robbery are extremely high, robbers frequently come away with small sums of cash, rarely receive leniency from the judge and even without using a firearm, the maximum penalty is twenty years in prison. If armed, the maximum penalty is 25 years. Prosecutors also like to tack on other charges that can leave a defendant looking at 50 years or more behind bars. If someone dies in the commission of the robbery, life in prison or the death penalty come into play.

*Of course we would suggest not to rob a bank in the first place. 

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