Wells Fargo robbery suspect nabbed 


A 25-year-old Passaic man was arrested last week in connection with a bank-robbery spree that began with a heist at the Wells Fargo Bank in Kearny on June 24, authorities reported. 

According to the FBI, Quentin Morales is a suspect in four subsequent hold-ups, all at Wells Fargo banks: June 30, in Kenilworth; July 6, Linden; July 13, Clifton; and July 25, Union. There reportedly was also an attempted robbery at a Capital One Bank in Elizabeth on June 27.

The FBI said that “in each robbery, Morales had allegedly waited in line for a teller to become available or walked right up to an available teller and presented them with a demand note.”   All but one of the crimes occurred between noon and 2 p.m.

That was the scenario in Kearny, where a robber entered the bank at 175 Passaic Ave. at 12:45 p.m. on June 24, handed a teller a note demanding money and fled with approximately $1,500. Kearny police said no weapon was displayed and the direction of the bandit’s flight was unknown.

Sources told The Observer that “due to the efforts of KPD Det. Sgt. Michael Gonzalez,” the suspect was identified as Morales.  

On July 3, “based on information developed in collaboration with the Newark police and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Kearny detectives applied for a warrant” to arrest him, the KPD reported. 

“After an exhaustive surveillance operation,” Morales was nabbed Aug. 2 in Newark by a task force of officers from the KPD, N.J. Parole, Newark PD, Union PD and the FBI.

Police said the suspect had been spotted in North Newark driving a gray Mercury with a fictitious temporary tag. The surveillance team watched as he pulled into a gas station, where they took him into custody without incident.

N.J. Parole officers were part of the task force because Morales reportedly is a parolee. Police said he was released in from prison in September 2015 having served time on a carjacking charge. He had been sentenced in August 2010.

According to authorities, he has a record of 10 prior arrests and four felony convictions — for carjacking, resisting arrest/eluding, receiving stolen property, and criminal attempted theft.

The current case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

Learn more about the writer ...