By Karen Zautyk
A 34-year-old Harrison woman was being held in the Essex County Jail on $300,000 bail in connection with the Jan. 30 hold-up of a Harrison bank — and of two Newark banks in February, authorities have reported.
The suspect, Valeria Parziale, was arrested Feb. 24 on a street in Newark by officers of the Newark Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Harrison police said.
A spokesman for the Harrison PD said it had been working closely with the Newark police in cooperation with the FBI on the investigation into the robbery of the Valley National Bank at 433 Harrison Ave.
Police said Parziale, who was captured on security video, had entered the bank near S. Fifth St. at 1:30 p.m., Jan. 30, and handed a teller a note demanding $3,000. She reportedly claimed to be armed, but no weapon was seen.
The bandit fled with $2,550, police said, and investigation later revealed that she had entered a cab several blocks away and was driven to Newark.
According to reports, Parziale has also been linked to a Feb. 14 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank and a Feb. 20 heist at a Banco Popular, both located on Bloomfield Ave. in Newark’s North Ward.
In both of those incidents, tellers reportedly were presented with notes and the robber claimed to be armed, but no weapon was displayed.
Parziale, who allegedly has 15 aliases, has made headlines in the past.
According to published reports, in October 2009, she escaped from a Trenton halfway house, where she had been serving a three-year sentence for violating parole from a Hudson County drug conviction.
However, she was soon back in custody. In a 2012 story on New Jersey halfway houses, the New York Times wrote: “Nine days later [after the 2009 escape], in a Newark liquor store, Ms. Parziale . . . attacked a man with a folding knife, cutting off part of his ear and slashing his face, prosecutors said. She was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon.”
Disposition of that case is not known.