METUCHEN, NJ – Donell Cheek, 32, and his brother, Dashawn Cheek, 27, both of Carteret, have been arrested and charged with robbing a bank in Metuchen after staging a bomb scare at the high school to divert police.
They were charged with robbery, theft, and making a false public alarm said officials today in a news release.
Bail was set at $250,000 each for the men, who were apprehended in Piscataway as they attempted to flee from police.
According to authorities, an investigation by Detective Sgt. Robert Belluscio of the Metuchen Police Department determined that one of the men, dressed in black and wearing a face mask, entered the TD Bank on Route 27 in Metuchen at noon on Friday, Nov. 4 and demanded cash.
The man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, but was traced by police, who followed him and his brother and pulled them over when they turned onto Barbour Place in Piscataway.
The two were arrested and charged. Police also recovered the stolen cash.
The investigation subsequently determined that an hour before the robbery, one of the brothers anonymously called to report that a bomb was placed at Metuchen High School.
Approximately 800 children attending the school were evacuated immediately and remained outside for about two hours while the school was searched.
No bomb was found and there were no injuries.
Police determined that the bomb threat was called in to divert police away from the bank robbery.
Prosecutor Carey thanked the Piscataway Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the FBI for assisting the Metuchen Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office during the investigation.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Belluscio of the Metuchen Police Department at (732) 632-8541.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against the Cheek brothers are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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