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METUCHEN, NJ—A diversionary tactic did not stop local police from arresting a pair of brothers from Carteret for robbing the TDBank in the quiet town of Metuchen.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief David Q. Irizarry of the Metuchen Police Department announced on November 7 that two brothers were arrested and charged with robbing the bank "after staging a bomb scare at the high school to divert police," according to a press releae.
Three days earlier, police say one of the men, without specifying which one, was "dressed in black and wearing a face mask" when he "demanded cash" from the bank located on Route 27 at approximately noon.
According to authorities, one of them had allegedly called to report a bomb threat at Metuchen High School about an hour earlier.
Approximately 800 children were evacuated immediately and remained outside for about two hours while the school was searched.
Now, Dashawn and Donell Cheek, ages 27 and 32 respectively, now face charges of robbery, theft, and making a false public alarm, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).
The MCPO says the suspects were "traced by police" who pulled them over on Barbour Place in Piscataway and took them into custody.
The official statement, which was not sent to New Brunswick Today, did not disclose how much cash the robbers allegedly made off with, but said that police had "recovered the stolen cash."
Both men are currently at the Middlesex County Jail, being held on $250,000 bail and prosecutors will require information about the source of any bail being paid for both men before they can be released.
For Dashawn Cheek, the situation is even more serious. He is being held without bail thanks to a "US Marshalls detainer," according to the jail's records department, who also noted his bail on the Metuchen charges must be paid in full, as he was determined to be ineligible for the "option" to pay just 10% of his bail.
Carey thanked the Piscataway Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the FBI for assisting the Metuchen Police Department (MPD) and the MCPO during the investigation.
"The investigation is active and… continuing," according to the MCPO.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Robert Belluscio of the MPD at (732) 632-8541.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.