NEW YORK (Reuters) - Accused New York thieves have been using a Hollywood-born strategy to rob dozens of small stores, telling police they were inspired by the 2010 movie "The Town" to splash bleach on the crime scenes, according to the police.

In what were dubbed the "splash-and-dash" robberies, the suspects would throw bleach over cash machines and cash drawers in a bid to erase their DNA evidence, the New York Police Department said.

They targeted dozens of corner stores, discount stores and pizzerias, netting $217,000 in the past year, police said.

"(The suspects) told detectives that they were inspired by the Ben Affleck movie 'The Town' in which the protagonists used bleach to cover their tracks," police said in a statement.

These suspects also would cut electrical power to the robbery locations and use miners' headlamps to work in the dark, the police said.

Four men have been charged in connection to 62 robberies, and two were scheduled to appear in Brooklyn criminal court.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)