Weehawken police commended by FBI
String of bank robbery cases solved in joint effort
by Christian Diaz
Reporter staff writer
May 26, 2013 | 3409 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HONORED – The local police were honored by the FBI for helping catch bank robbers.
HONORED – The local police were honored by the FBI for helping catch bank robbers.
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The Weehawken Police Department recently received commendation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon the conviction of Maximo Castro, 32, of West New York.

Back in 2011, there were a string of serial bank robberies within weeks of each other that shocked both Weehawken and West New York. Several of the bank robberies were believed to have been perpetrated by the same person.

With the help of eye witnesses and surveillance cameras, the robbers were identified. The last bank robbery took place in May of 2011 when Castro walked into a TD Bank on 4202 Park Ave. wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a scarf while brandishing a gold plated gun, police said.

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“It is very rewarding to be honored not once but twice” – “Iggy” Mitolo

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Castro waved his gun frantically as he threw a black bag at the tellers and told them to fill it with money. He left with $5,700 dollars total: $5,100 from the bank and $600 from two customers.

Castro was convicted at the end of last year.

This isn’t the first time the WPD has been commended for their help in solving crimes. In February of 2011, another bank robbery took place in the exact same bank. The FBI has alleged that Augusto Perez, 60, of North Bergen threatened two tellers and a patron with a semiautomatic handgun. He allegedly walked out with about $10,000 and fled to Florida, where investigators received tips of his whereabouts.

Both men have since been captured. Castro received a sentence of 17 years in prison, and Perez faces 20 years.

The arrests came after a joint investigation between WPD detectives in conjunction with investigators from the FBI Newark field office.

Sgt. Ignacio “Iggy” Mitolo said the successful arrests were the result of a combination of sophisticated investigation techniques and “good old-fashioned police work.”

Mitolo commended the lead detectives on the case – Thomas White, Thomas Glacken, and Sergio Fasciano –as well as the patrol division, whose response time was excellent, as they secured witnesses at the scene on the day of the crime. White and Glacken also had been commended previously for their involvement in the February bank robbery.

Executive Director Jeff Welz is proud of the WPD and appreciates the “great relationship the WPD and FBI have when working together.”

“It is very rewarding to be honored not once but twice,” said Det. Mitolo. “Our department recognizes the importance of keeping these criminals off the streets. That’s why we do what we do.”

Christian Diaz may be reached at ChristianD@hudsonreporter.com.

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