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Alleged Serial Bank Robber Arrested After Thursday Robbery In Middlesex County

A man allegedly responsible for a three-county New Jersey bank robbery spree faces a federal charge today following his arrest Thursday after the rush hour robbery of a Rahway Savings Institute in Colonia, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Friday.

Jason Novello, 35, of Elizabeth, N.J., is charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery in connection with the Colonia theft. He made his initial appearance today before U.S. Judge James B. Clark, III in Newark federal court and was detained.

According to the complaint filed today and statements made in court:

At approximately 9:05 a.m. on May 1, 2014, Novello entered the Rahway Savings Institute in Colonia, approached a bank teller and held up a note claiming he had a gun and demanding money.

The teller gave the cash to Novello, including two “bait bills” from which the serial numbers had been pre-recorded by the bank. A bank employee followed Novello out of the bank and noted the license plate of the blue Hyundai Elantra in which Novello fled.

Law enforcement officers were able to track the car’s registration to an address where they waited for Novello. FBI agents arrested him when he showed up in the Hyundai.

Including the latest Colonia robbery with which he is charged, the complaint alleges Novello committed nine robberies in the nine months from August 2013 to May 2014, hitting two of the banks – in Colonia and Elizabeth – twice each: May 1, 2014  Rahway Savings Institute, Colonia April 28, 2014 PNC Bank, Scotch Plains March 22, 2014 Rahway Savings Institute, Colonia March 8, 2014  Capital One Bank, Iselin

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