A Hoboken man was arrested today while allegedly trying to rob a Cedar Grove bank, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Authorities say Frank Meletti, 53, is charged by complaint with one count of attempted bank robbery. He will appear in Newark federal court at a later date.
According to the complaint:
Meletti was previously convicted of bank robbery in June 2009 in the District of New Jersey. He was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
According to officials, in early August 2018, Meletti allegedly asked another individual to act as the getaway driver for an upcoming bank robbery and provided the individual with details about the plan, including the name of the target bank and where to park during the robbery.
Police say on Aug. 9th, Meletti and the other individual went to the Investors Bank in Cedar Grove to investigate whether the bank had an armed guard or other security. Meletti instructed the other individual to pick him up for the bank robbery the following morning.
Earlier today, the individual picked up Meletti at the agreed upon time and asked Meletti if he was sure that he wanted to go through with the plan. Meletti responded affirmatively. During the ride to Cedar Grove, Meletti drafted numerous versions of a demand note that he would use for the robbery.
According to authorities, at approximately 10 a.m., Meletti exited the vehicle from a parking lot adjacent to the bank. He was wearing dark sunglasses, a black hat, and a black sweatsuit, and carrying a bag to hold proceeds from the robbery. Meletti approached the front entrance to the Investors Bank and attempted to open the exterior door, tugging on it several times and attempting to look through the windows, whereupon he was arrested.
The final version of the demand note was recovered from his person and read, “Place money in bag. No dye. No cops. No alarms.”
The attempted bank robbery charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.