Bank Robbery Spree Was Set To Hit Fair Lawn, Rockland County DA Says
Two men charged in a robbery in Yonkers Wednesday had allegedly planned to hit a Chase Bank in Fair Lawn in the future.
A pair of Bronx cousins charged with bank robbery after allegedly holding up a bank in Yonkers Wednesday are also suspects in bank robberies in Rockland County and were planning to hit at least three more banks in New Jersey over the coming weeks, including a Chase Bank in Fair Lawn, New York law enforcement officials said.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said the arrests of Michael Johnson, 35, and Andre Johnson, 29, stemmed from an investigation that started in New York's Rockland County after bank robberies in Nanuet in 2011 and Nyack. Zugibe said multiple warrants had been obtained so police could listen in on communications involving the Johnsons and GPS tracking devices were being used to follow their movements.
The investigation launched by police in Orangetown and Clarkstown led to involvement by the Rockland County Intelligence Unit and the District Attorney's Office. Zugibe said evidence gathered by the investigation and Wednesday's arrests by New York State Police had been turned over to the FBI for the prosecution of the Johnson cousins.
"This was a very successful operation which started out in Rockland," Zugibe said. "This is a telling tale of the need for our intelligence center."
New York State Police said their Special Investigations Unit based in White Plains arrested Michael Johnson Wednesday morning as he was leaving his home. Proceeds from Wednesday's robbery of a Key Bank branch in Yonkers were recovered, police said.
Andre Johnson was arrested Wednesday afternoon in New York City. Zugibe said Andre Johnson works for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and had recently returned to work after being out on disability.
Two separate Chase Banks in Fair Lawn -- one on Fair Lawn Avenue and another on Saddle River Road -- were victimized by bank robberies last year. The man suspected in the Fair Lawn Avenue robbery was convicted of a subsequent robbery in Alabama, and is currently serving a 70-month bid down south. The FBI has yet to announce a suspect or an arrest in the Saddle River Road robbery.