DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

Facebook “Willie Sutton Jr.” Busted For Bank Heists

Online posts, photos may help FBI sink Brooklyn man

Willie Sutton Jr.

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Willie Sutton Jr.

SEPTEMBER 7--In the midst of an alleged citywide bank robbery spree, Jesse Hippolite recently went on his Facebook page to change his profile name to “Willie Sutton Jr.,” just one of the many online missteps that resulted in the 23-year-old New Yorker’s arrest by the FBI.

Hippolite was busted last week and charged with sticking up three Chase branches in Brooklyn over the past three months. He is also suspected in 16 similar bank jobs dating back to December (the largest haul, $15,432, came during a December 30 robbery of a Chase branch on Kings Highway in Brooklyn).

In each robbery, a black male suspect handed a teller a handwritten note that stated, with slight variation, “GIVE ME ALL THE MONEY OR ELSE EVERYBODY DIES!!! $100s $50s $20s ONLY,” according to a U.S. District Court criminal complaint that makes no mention of a weapon being used during the robberies.

Following the July 1 robbery of a Chase branch, a bank employee gave investigators a partial license plate of the getaway car used by the robber. In short order, agents traced the vehicle to a friend of Hippolite’s, and discovered that the two men had been arrested together last year for jumping a subway turnstile.

Agents began monitoring Hippolite’s Facebook page and discovered what appeared to be incriminating photos and postings. For example, shortly before the July 1 bank robbery, Hippolite wrote, “I Gotta Get That $$$$$ Man!!!!”  In another posting, Hippolite succinctly notes, “Crime pays my bills!”

On July 29, Hippolite changed his profile name to “Willie Sutton Jr.,” an apparent homage to the prolific bank robber. Pictured at left, Sutton delivered a famous answer to a reporter’s question about why he robbed banks. "Because that's where the money is," said Sutton.

In addition to changing his online moniker in late-July, Hippolite also posted a message referencing bank robbery: “What If We All G0t Fed Up With This Recessi0n And Started Running Inside Every Fucking Bank T0 Give Us The M0ney That Bel0ng T0 Us??? Niggas Ain't Willing T0 G0 That Far And That's Why The G0vernment Ain't Never G0nna Respect The Pe0ple Because We All Ain't Wildin 4 Respect!!!”

Photos on Hippolite’s Facebook page--which can be viewed here--show him posing with a small fan of $100 bills and, as described by the FBI, “two bottles of what appears to be sparkling wine.” The latter photo of Hippolite and his Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé was uploaded a day after the January 22 robbery of a Chase branch in Brooklyn netted about $1500.

A further examination of Hippolite’s Facebook reveals that the alleged bank robber may have spent some of his ill-gotten gains on pedicures and manicures (the FBI was polite enough not to mention this). Hippolite is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. (6 pages)