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Was 'Countdown Bandit' Responsible For Garfield Bank Robbery?

The FBI said the same man was responsible for seven holdups in Bergen and Passaic.
The FBI said the same man was responsible for seven holdups in Bergen and Passaic. Photo Credit: COURTESY: New Milford PD
At the scene.
At the scene. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

GARFIELD, N.J. -- Garfield police were "looking for connections to previous incidents" after a dark-skinned man in a New York Yankees cap robbed an M&T Bank branch Thursday morning, authorities said.

UPDATE (April 29): "This is a robbery. You have ten seconds," a man dubbed the "Count Down Bandit" told a bank teller Thursday , said Garfield police, who released surveillance images of the robber on Friday.

The FBI last month officially connected six bank robberies in Bergen County and one in Passaic County to a man they're calling the "Countdown Bandit" -- and offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and capture.

Authorities were trying to determine if he's the same bandit who robbed the Garfield bank on Thursday, Capt. Ray Kovach told Daily Voice.

The robber "came in around 9:30 [ a.m.] and passed a note" at the Outwater Lane branch, Kovach said. "The teller handed over an unknown amount of proceeds."

Described as about 5-foot-9 and carrying a blue duffel bag, the robber ran south out of the parking lot, he said.

Elmwood Park police also responded, along with the Bergen County Sheriff's Office. The FBI was assisting in the investigation.

In most of the holdups, the FBI said, the robber walked in and demanded money, then counted down from 10 or 15 to one and took off with the cash.

He was described as a black or Hispanic, in his mid-30s, about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, with an athletic build.

The seven-bank spree began last July 1, when he robbed a few hundred dollars from the Community Bank of Bergen County on West Pleasant Avenue in Maywood .

On Aug. 12, he held up a Hudson City branch on Main Street in River Edge. Surveillance images show him in an orange shirt, white twill pants and dark sunglasses, carrying a black bag.

He wore glasses with a blue tint on frame and clear lenses, pullover dark green sweater and light colored pants while taking about $4,800 from a Hudson City branch on River Road in New Milford on Oct. 23.

On Nov. 6, he took more than $5,000 in cash by "simulating a handgun" at the Glen Rock Hudson City branch of Prospect Street. The FBI said he was wearing a grey baseball cap, dark colored jacket and light colored pants.

The robber was wearing a green Jets baseball cap, glasses and a dark-colored sweatshirt when he put a bag on the counter of a Hudson City branch on Lewandowski Street in Lyndhurst on Dec. 3 , told the teller to fill it and fled with the contents.

On Dec. 29, he made off with roughly $8,600 from the Hudson City branch on Kinderkamack Road in Oradell , wearing a black knit hat, a zip-up grey and white sweater with a gold colored scarf around his head, khaki pants and white sneakers.

The most recent robbery occurred March 8, when the FBI said he held up the M&T Bank on Rt. 23 in Wayne. He was wearing a white buttoned-down shirt, ¾-sleeved hunter green jacket, blue jeans, a dark-colored baseball cap and solid white sneakers.

Anyone with information about any of the holdups is asked to call the FBI at (973) 792-3000 .

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