Fair Lawn Bank Robber Faces October Sentencing
Alfred Pedersen, 40, of Prospect Park, has pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery, including one committed last October at the Chase Bank on Saddle River Road.
A man who admitted to robbing three North Jersey banks last year -- including one in Fair Lawn -- and who allegedly made an attempt to escape Hudson County Jail in June posing as a clergyman, will be sentenced on October 30, a spokesman for the U.S Attorney's Office said Monday.
Alfred Pedersen, 40, of Prospect Park, has pleaded guilty to committing three bank heists late last year in Englewood, Fair Lawn and Cliffside Park that netted him a total of $8,295, according to a federal criminal complaint. He was arrested last December and remains in custody at Hudson County Jail awaiting sentencing.
On Oct. 1, 2011, Pedersen entered the Chase Bank on Saddle River Road at 10:10 a.m. and handed the teller a demand note that read, “This is a robbery, give me all the money from the top drawer,” according to the criminal complaint. After the teller complied, he made off with $3,401 in cash and fled north up Saddle River Road on foot, according to witnesses.
The bank's survelliance cameras captured an unobstructed view of Pedersen's face and original reports described him as a 5’8” to 5'11” white male between the ages of 30 and 40 with a slender build, short dark hair and a scruffy mustache and goatee.
Fair Lawn police said that during the robbery he wore a black baseball cap with light stitching depicting a bird surrounded by flames, and was dressed in a striped gray long sleeve polo shirt or raincoat, blue jeans and white sneakers, with a black watch on his left wrist.
At the time of Pedersen's arrest a couple months later, FBI agents observed in his car the same dark baseball cap with white stitching depicting a bird surrounded by flames.
Upon obtaining work records from his employer, law enforcement officials found that Pedersen had either called off work, not been scheduled to work or had already left work on all days when the bank robberies were committed.
According to the criminal complaint, when Pedersen's nephew and roommate, Robert Masuch, Jr. was shown surveillance images of the Fair Lawn bank robbery, he said, "I can't believe it! That's my uncle."
In late June, Pedersen was moved to Hudson County Jail's maximum security unit after law enforcement officials said he attempted a jail break.
Dressed in a sweatsuit purchased through the jail commissary and carrying a business card, Pederson told a corrections officer he was a clergyman working with inmates and asked the officer to open the door so he could deposit letters in a mailbox outside the fifth-floor tier, Hudson County Corrections Department Deputy Director Kirk Eady told NJ.com.
Once outside the tier, however, Pedersen's escape was short-lived. Eady told NJ.com that a corrections officer who had been tipped off by jail security cameras was waiting for Pedersen after he descended a stairwell to the first floor.
He faces additional charges of attempting to escape from jail by "disguising himself with altered clothing" and "utilizing a fake ID," according to the criminal complaint.
Pedersen previously served a three-and-a-half year sentence from 2000 to 2003 after he plead guilty to three bank robberies.