At the teller's window of a TD Bank in Wantagh, on Long Island, Sunday afternoon, the woman demanded $5,000, but the teller "directed the suspect to a customer services representative," said Nassau County police Sgt. John Giambrone.
When she sat down at the representative's desk, the teller pushed an alarm button, the New York Post reported.
The suspect asked, "Did someone press the alarm?" before hurrying from the bank.
About 30 minutes later the suspect visited another TD Bank branch in nearby East Meadow, this time claiming she had a bomb and demanding cash, the newspaper said.
The teller complied and handed her cash and a dye pack that exploded and covered the fleeing woman with ink, Giambrone said.
She was later seen dumping the money, police said.
"She didn't do well," Giambrone commented.