Bank robber gets 7 years, says she’s ‘sorry’

Bank security photo from HPD; inset photo Newark PD Valeria Parziale
Bank security photo from HPD; inset photo Newark PD
Valeria Parziale


A Harrison woman who robbed three banks over a three-week period in early 2014 was sentenced last week to seven years in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Valeria Parziale, 36, had pleaded guilty in September to one count of bank robbery. Her sentence was handed down last Thursday in Federal Court in Newark by U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi.

In addition to the prison term, Cecchi ordered Parziale to serve three years of supervised release.

She had faced a potential maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities said Parziale’s robbery spree began Jan. 30, 2014, in Harrison when she held up the Valley National Bank at 433 Harrison Ave., near S. Fifth St. According to the complaint filed by the FBI, Parziale, wearing a dark, hooded jacket, entered the bank at approximately 1:40 p.m. and handed a teller a note reading: “Don’t BE Stupid! Put $3,000 in envelope 50/lOO’s I got a gun! Hurry Up.”

Although she claimed to be armed, no weapon was seen.

She fled with approximately $3,000 in cash, court documents said.

The subsequent crimes occurred in Newark: at a Wells Fargo bank on Feb. 14, 2014, and at a Popular Community Bank on Feb. 20. Authorities said the robber, wearing sunglasses and a wig, got approximately $3,500 from the Wells Fargo bank, but she fled from the other bank before the teller handed over any money. Parziale was arrested in Newark on Feb. 24, 2014, reportedly in possession of a wig, sunglasses and a note reading, “I have a gun Don’t be stupid Give me $3,500 now! Put in envelope! You got 10 seconds! Don’t Risk Yourself.”

In addition to crediting the FBI with the investigation leading to Parziale’s sentencing, Fishman thanked the Kearny, Harrison and Newark police departments for their assistance.

When Parziale fled the Valley National robbery, an investigation by Harrison police revealed that she entered a cab several blocks away and was driven to Newark.

At that bank, she was clearly caught on security video. Surveillance photos were circulated among local law enforcement agencies, and Kearny detectives obtained an ID of the suspect. They turned that information over to the Harrison PD, which was working with Newark and the FBI.


Some weeks ago, The Observer received a handwritten letter mailed from the Essex County Jail. Addressed to Whom It May Concern, it reads as follows:

“Good day. I don’t know if you will recall who I am, but I will refresh your memory. My name is Valeria Parziale, the woman who’s guilty of the bank robbery in Harrison N.J. in 2014 December [actually January].

“First I like to apologize to the teller at Valley National Bank for threatening her. ‘I Apologize.’ 2nd, I take full responsibility of my actions. 3rd, I’m only human, we all make mistakes. Now just because I did what I did, that doesn’t make me a bad person.

“I didn’t go in there with intentions to hurt no one! It’s not no one’s business why I did what I did. But me as the woman I am I’m coming clean, and taking responsibility, and saying I’m truly sorry to the Bank Teller.

“Sincerely, Valeria Parziale.”

We hope the teller reads The Observer.

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