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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New York Man Admits Robbing, Attempting To Burglarize Four New Jersey Banks

TRENTON, N.J. – A Manhattan man today admitted robbing banks in Jackson Township, Fort Lee, and Hasbrouck Heights, as well as attempting to burglarize a fourth bank in Englewood between December 2013 and February 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eddy Cruz, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank burglary. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Dec. 24, 2013, Cruz entered a PNC Bank in Jackson Township and handed a bank teller a note demanding money. After the teller handed him some cash, Cruz fled the scene. Cruz also robbed a TD Bank in Fort Lee on Feb. 13, 2017 and a TD Bank in Hasbrouck Heights on Feb. 18, 2017. During both robberies, Cruz wore a mask to disguise his identity and handed the tellers notes demanding cash.

On Feb. 24, 2017, law enforcement officers tracked Cruz’s car, which had been spotted at one of the earlier bank robberies, to a location in Manhattan. That same day, Cruz drove to yet another TD Bank in Englewood where he was apprehended moments before he robbed the bank in a similar disguise to what he wore during the previous two bank robberies.  

The bank robbery and attempted bank burglary counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark and Special Agent in Charge John Brosnan in New York; the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo; the Fort Lee Police Department, under the direction of Chief Keith M. Bendul; the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael J. Colaneri; the Roxbury Police Department, under the direction of Chief Marc Palanchi; the Paramus Police Department, under the direction of Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg; and the Jackson Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Matthew Kunz, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Greenburgh, New York, Mount Pleasant, New York, and Yonkers, New York, police departments, as well as the New York Police Department for their assistance. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark

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Defense counsel: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-272
Updated August 15, 2018