FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The arrest of a 51-year-old White Plains, N.Y., woman may be a big break in the investigation of bank robberies committed by a gun-toting female suspect in Darien and Greenwich.
And the suspect's cellphone may be a big clue in the case, according to the FBI's criminal complaint against Michelle C. Cantatore, 51.
She arrested by FBI agents on bank robbery charges Thursday at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., in connection with the robbery of Glen Rock Saving Bank in New Jersey on Feb. 18.
"Cantatore is a person of interest in the Chase Bank robbery, which occurred on Feb. 24," Darien police said in a statement.
The Darien Police Detective Bureau participated with the FBI in executing a search warrant at Cantatore's home, police said.
"The Greenwich Police Department Detective Division has been working closely with the FBI and other state and local agencies, investigating the bank robbery of the Greenwich Bank and Trust" on East Putnam Avenue on Jan. 30, Greenwich police said in a statement. "There was a significant break in the case," Greenwich police said, directing all inquiries to the FBI in Newark, N.J.
An FBI spokeswoman declined to say whether the New Jersey arrest was linked to the Greenwich robbery.
So far, Cantatore is charged only in the robbery of Glen Rock Saving Bank, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
That bank was robbed by a woman wearing sunglasses, a black coat, white boots and carrying a handbag, police said. The robber brandished what appeared to be a long-barreled handgun and demanded money, threatening to shoot and kill the bank employees, police said.
When the robber was not satisfied with the money from the bank drawer, she directed the bank employees to enter the vault and get more money, police said.
The robber fled with $112,900 in cash, police said. Officers found a JTER2 pump pistol paintball gun wedged next to a pole about a block from the bank that matched the weapon used in the robbery, police said.
In the criminal complaint against Cantatore, an FBI agent wrote that "on or about Jan. 30, an additional robbery was committed by a robber matching the physical description of Cantatore. Cantatore's cellphone also was in the cell tower sector of the January 30, 2015, bank robbery near the time of the robbery."
That was the date of the Greenwich robbery, although the town wasn't named in the criminal complaint.
Cellular telephone records indicate that a cellphone subscribed by Cantatore was in the cell tower area near the New Jersey bank. The cellphone later showed up in the area of the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.
Photographs from the casino show Cantatore handing two large stacks of cash to a cashier at the casino at 6:35 p.m., police said. She is holding a handbag similar to one seen during the robbery, police said.
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.
In the Darien robbery, 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.
Cantatore was scheduled to appear Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court. The charge of bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
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