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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New York Man Charged With Two Bank Robberies In Bergen County, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A man charged with robbing TD Banks in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, made his initial court appearance today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Eddy Cruz, 41, of Manhattan, New York, is charged by complaint with two counts of bank robbery. Cruz appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained.

According to the complaint:

On Feb. 13, 2017, Cruz allegedly entered a TD Bank in Fort Lee wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a tight-fitting mask. Cruz presented the teller with a note demanding cash and then left the bank with the stolen money.

On Feb. 18, 2017, Cruz entered another TD Bank in Hasbrouck Heights wearing a similar disguise. As in the previous robbery, Cruz presented a teller with a note demanding cash and then left with the stolen money.

On Feb. 24, 2017, law enforcement officers tracked his car, which had been spotted at one of the earlier bank robberies, to a location in Manhattan. Later that day, Cruz drove to yet another TD Bank in Englewood, New Jersey, where he was apprehended by FBI special agents outside the bank while wearing the same disguise that he allegedly used in the prior robberies.

Among the items recovered from Cruz following his arrest were latex gloves, a scarf, sunglasses, and the tight-fitting mask, all of which Cruz was wearing at the time of his arrest. In addition, law enforcement officers recovered a handwritten note demanding money from inside Cruz’s vehicle.

Cruz has been detained in the Bergan County Jail on state charges related to both bank robberies.

The bank robbery 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.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark and Acting Special Agent in Charge William Sweeney in New York; the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal; the Fort Lee Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Keith M. Bendul; the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Michael J. Colaneri; the Roxbury Police Department, under the direction of Chief Marc Palanchi; and the Paramus Police Department, under the direction of Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg. He also thanked the Greenburgh, New York, the 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 General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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

Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-064
Updated March 7, 2017