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Confessions of a Shopaholic Bank Robber

A dapper thief robs a string of Manhattan banks to fuel his shopping addiction.

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Neilly: Breaking bad, looking good. Photo via

By Bryan Le

06/14/12

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A serial bank robber has confessed to stealing money in order to subsidize his shopping addiction—as evidenced by the sleek Burberry ensemble he was wearing during his most recent heist. Cornell Neilly, 21, began his spree in April, relieving a Midtown Sovereign Bank of $2,320 while clad in a humbler outfit of baseball cap, jeans and a leather jacket. But by the end of May, the shopaholic was sticking up in style, copping cash from a few more banks in a new $250 shirt. “He used the money to buy expensive clothes, $400 sneakers, a Burberry shirt,” says a source. By the time he was caught on Tuesday, Neilly was practically a career criminal—he'd robbed 14 banks and made away with more than $7,100 in cash over the course of four months, before police finally nabbed him in late May. He was picked out of a lineup by 12 witnesses and police found his fingerprints at the crime scenes; he was held last night in place of $500,000 bail. Although his attire was casual at the time of his arrest, his robbery regalia reportedly left a lasting impression on those involved in the case. “It looks like a fashion story Burberry dreamed up to go viral,” says Paper magazine’s editorial director, Mickey Boardman. “He’s not as chic as Patty Hearst—the chicest wanted felon in history. But he’s in second place.” Neilly has previously served time in prison for selling drugs.

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