WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Woodland Park police arrested a suspect on Thursday, Feb. 23 who attempted to rob the local TD Bank branch, located at 1235 on McBride Ave.
According to Det. Sgt. John Uzzalino, police received calls from several of the bank's activated hold up alarms. The attempted robbery occurred at approximately 9:45 a.m.
"The suspect entered TD Bank, approached the teller and handed her a note that stated that he had a gun and for her to turn over the money or he will shoot," said Uzzalino. "The teller, in turn, passed over the amount of cash which was approximately $500."
At no time was a weapon shown, added Uzzalino. The suspect was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head attempting to hide his face. The suspect then left the scene and left the note at the teller station.
"We then received a third call from an employee at TD Bank who gave a description of the suspect, the vehicle used by the suspect and the direction of flight," he explained.
Sgt. Erik Luker, while at the intersection of Glover Avenue and McBride Avenue, spotted a vehicle that matched the description given. Luker and Officer Michael Boudaher stopped the vehicle at Glover Avenue and Squirrelwood Road, he said.
While further investigation was being completed, Luker and Boudaher detained the driver of the vehicle. Uzzalino, along with Sgt. Thomas Bolen, and Officers Len Schafer and Vic Hayek, responded to TD Bank and conducted the investigation. Passaic County Crime Scene Investigators responded to process the scene.
The suspect, Jose Cruz, 30, of Paterson, was arrested and charged with terroristic threats (third degree crime), and robbery (second degree crime). He is being held at the Passaic County Jail pending his Central Judicial Processing hearing.
Cruz did not have any prior criminal history, Uzzalino noted.