Left high and dry by the state’s new bail reform law, the NYPD was forced to ask the feds to help them reign in the Big Apple’s six-time serial bank bandit for good, sources told The Post Saturday.
When prime suspect Gerod Woodberry was arrested in connection to four bank robberies Jan. 9, and then let go, free to allegedly knock over two more — frustrated cops realized they had to call in the cavalry.
“We didn’t want him to walk out again and go rob another bank,” one law enforcement source said. “It’s too bad the politicians don’t feel the same way.”
Under the new reforms, which took hold Jan. 1, Woodberry, 42, is considered a non-violent defendant because he allegedly used notes to demand dough from banks in Brooklyn and Manhattan. State law forbids judges from setting any bail for him under the new law.
Eighteen days after his alleged crime spree began, Woodberry finally turned himself in at the Manhattan Criminal Court building on Friday.
“I’m Woodberry,” he told a court worker. “I’m the one that’s been robbing banks. He later confessed to all six heists, law enforcement sources said.
Federal prosecutors promptly took over the case and are now seeking to have him held without bail at a court appearance Sunday morning for a Jan. 10 robbery at a Downtown Brooklyn Chase bank, which netted him $1,000, officials said.
“No sound, rational and fair criminal justice system requires the pre-trial release of criminal defendants who demonstrate such determination to continuously commit serious crimes,” Brooklyn US Attorney Richard Donoghue said in announcing the criminal complaint against him and calling the spree “unprecedented.”
He’s now facing federal bank robbery charges, which could land him behind bars up to 20 years.
Woodberry had expressed amazement after he was released without bail after the fourth cash grab, saying as he retrieved his belongings from a clerk police headquarters, “I can’t believe they let me out,” sources told The Post.
But no one was more stunned by Woodberry exploits than his uncle Jessie James Woodberry, who told the Post Saturday that he had no idea his South Carolina-born nephew was even in New York, let alone gracing front pages.
“Oh my God, wow, that’s my nephew! What’s he doing up here?” said the relative, whose name recalls of one of the Wild West’s most infamous bad guys.
Woodberry’s uncle, who recognized a mugshot of his nephew, said he hasn’t seen the prolific crook since 2005, when he last lived in Brooklyn.
“He’s a good kid, when he has a job,” he said. “I don’t know what happened to him.”
The uncle said Woodberry’s mother, who still lives in his native South Carolina, “pampers him.”
“No matter what happens she says, ‘My son would never do this.’ He can’t do anything wrong,” he told The Post.
But Woodberry has a decades-long rap sheet in South Carolina, including at least four convictions for strong-arm robbery in 2011, 2015, and 2018, court records show.
“It’s sad that he’s doing what he’s doing,” his uncle told The Post. “I hope they get him some help.”
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