“If you see something, say something.” A concerned citizen heeded that advice, and North Arlington police responded, leading to the arrest of an armed man who was believed to be plotting a bank robbery in the borough, authorities reported.
Officers were dispatched to Ridge Road and Noel Drive at 1:28 p.m. Friday, May 2, after receiving a report of a suspicious individual in the area. Police Chief Louis Ghione said the man, wearing gloves and carrying a black backpack, appeared to be scoping out private driveways in the neighborhood.
Sgt. Joseph Prinzo and Officers David Ryan and Sean MacDonald located an individual fitting the suspect’s description and found him to be in possession of a 9mm automatic, Ghione said.
A search of the backpack, incident to the man’s arrest for unlawful possession of a handgun, reportedly uncovered a black wool hat with a full facial mask, black gloves, clear rubber gloves, sneakers and a folded-up black duffle bag.
The suspect was identified as Frankie R. Ortiz, 20, of Paterson. Further investigation by Prinzo and Det. Michael Horton determined that he had been conducting surveillance of the TD Bank at 454 Ridge Rd., located at the corner of Noel Drive, and apparently was planning a hold-up, Ghione reported.
In addition to the weapons count, Ortiz was charged with attempted bank robbery. His bail was set at $20,000, with no 10% option, and he was remanded to the Bergen County Jail.
– Karen Zautyk