Ex-UN worker busted for lunchtime bank robberies

Abdullahi Shuaibu
Abdullahi Shuaibu (NYPD)

A man in New York has been arrested for robbing four Manhattan banks - all done during his lunch breaks from his job at a United Nations building.

Queens man Abdullahi Shuaibu was a journalist working for the Nigerian News Agency covering the UN. He was caught after he was recognised in a police photo by another UN worker.

The robberies started in January. Police say Shuaibu, 53, allegedly pocketed US$10,000 (NZ$14,000) before he was arrested.

Police picked him up when he returned to the UN's Foreign Press Centre after another attempted hold-up, they say.

Shuaibu's been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery for his lunchtime crimes since January, the New York Post reports.

All four banks are within walking distance of his work.

In the robberies he is reported to have told bank tellers he had a gun, while keeping his hand in his jacket pocket to simulate a firearm.

He had worked briefly for the UN in 2013, but has since been working for the Nigerian News Agency.