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FBI Arrests Woman In NJ Bank Robbery; Cops Seeking Link To Local Robberies

A picture of the woman robbing the Greenwich Bank & Trust Company on Jan. 30. A woman has been arrested by the FBI in New Jersey in connection with a bank robbery there. Police are investigating whether the two may be linked.
A picture of the woman robbing the Greenwich Bank & Trust Company on Jan. 30. A woman has been arrested by the FBI in New Jersey in connection with a bank robbery there. Police are investigating whether the two may be linked. Photo Credit: File photo

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Police are investigating whether a White Plains, N.Y., woman charged with robbing a New Jersey bank is tied to a pair of bank robberies in Darien and Greenwich.

A leading clue is the woman's cell phone according to the criminal complaint filled against Michelle C. Cantatore, 51, by the FBI.

She is charged with one count of bank robbery. She was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in federal court in Newark at 2 p.m. Friday.

She was arrested by the FBI on Thursday in Atlantic City in connection with the Feb. 18 robbery of the Glen Rock Savings Bank.

Slightly more than two weeks before that a woman brandishing a gun robbed the Greenwich Bank and Trust Company on East Putnam Avenue on Jan. 30.

In the criminal complaint the FBI agent wrote that "On or about Jan. 30, 2015, an additional robbery was committed by a robber matching the physical description of Cantatore. Cantatore's cell phone also was in the cell tower sector of the January 30, 2015 bank robbery near the time of the robbery."

Greenwich wasn't named in the agent's criminal complaint.

As well, Darien Police, who called Cantatore a "person of interest" participated in the search of Cantatore's home on Thursday following her arrest as they seek to solve a bank robbery late last month in Darien.

Just after 4 p.m. Feb. 25, a woman wearing a bright yellow jacket robbed a Chase Bank on Noroton Avenue at gunpoint. She was described as 5 foot, 3 inches tall.

In the Glen Rock, N.J., robbery a woman wearing sunglasses, a black coat and white boots brandished what appeared to be a long barreled handgun and demanded cash. The robber demanded money and threatened to shoot and kill the bank employees if the demand was not met. When the robber wasn't satisfied with the money she received from the drawer, she directed the bank employees to enter the vault and give her more money, according to the complaint.

The robber fled the scene with $112,900 in cash. Surveillance video showed a mid-sized SUV leaving the area. Soon after the robbery police found a JTER2 pump pistol paintball gun wedged next to a pole that matched the weapon used in the robbery.

Cellular telephone records indicate that a cell phone subscribed by Cantatore was in the cell tower area near the bank at 10:16 a.m. The cell phone later showed up at 6:35 p.m. in the area of the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.

Photographs from the casino show Cantatore handling two large stacks of cash to a cashier at the casino at 6:35 p.m. police said. The complaint said she is seen holding a handbag similar to one seen during the robbery.

A search of the Department of Motor Vehicles shows that a white Porsche Cayenne is registered to her father and that she was stopped while driving it in May 2014.

Greenwich Police referred all calls to the FBI.

In the Greenwich robbery, a white woman who appeared to be about 40 years old and brandishing a gun robbed the Greenwich Bank and Trust branch at 1103 E. Putnam Ave. at about noon Jan. 30.

The Darien Police have been working closely with the Greenwich Police as well as the Glen Rock, New Jersey Police. The Darien Police continues its investigation in to that robbery.

Earlier Friday, an FBI spokeswoman had declined to say if the arrest was linked to the Greenwich robbery.

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