Christmas Eve bank heist


Photo courtesy KPD Kearny robbery suspect on security video
Photo courtesy KPD
Kearny robbery suspect on security video


By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent


Police are looking for the man who robbed a local bank of $3,000 the day before Christmas and made good his escape before officers could get to the scene.

Police Chief John Dowie said the crime occurred “just after [the bank] opened,” at about 9:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24, when a man entered the Chase Bank, Kearny and Johnston Aves., and handed a female teller a note reading: “I have a gun. Don’t be stupid. Count 3,000 and put it in an envelope.”

“He said he had a weapon but didn’t display it,” Dowie said.

Dowie said the man told the teller he wanted the money in $50 bills, so he was directed to a second teller’s window where those bills were accessible.

That teller then placed the bills in an envelope and gave it to the man who then ran out of the bank and was last seen heading west on Johnston Ave., Dowie said.

It is possible there may have been a getaway car waiting for him at some point, Dowie said, but no one reported seeing the man actually enter a vehicle.

At the time of the incident, there were a few customers in the bank, Dowie said.

Dowie said that Det. John Plaugic has been placed in charge of the local police investigation and will be working with FBI agents to try to find the robber.

Investigators will be reviewing video from the bank’s surveillance cameras in hopes of gleaning clues to the man’s identity, Dowie said.

The robber was described by police as in his 50s, with a pockmarked face and a scar below his right ear, wearing a full-length, gray zipper hoddie and black skull-type cap, black dress shoes, gloves, and white safety glasses.

People with information on the case are asked to contact the Kearny PD Detective Bureau at 201-998-1313.

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