YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: “That guy’s a bank robber,” Rutherford Detective Sgt. Thomas Lewis told Detective Lt. Sean Farrell as they spotted a man in a long-sleeved black jacket and hat walking toward the Chase branch on Park Avenue in this afternoon’s sweltering heat. Turned out he was.
After parking next to the bank, Farrell went in to check.
“We’re closed. We’re closed. We’re closed,” the anxious manager told the 11-year department veteran.
“I’m a cop,” the plainclothed lieutenant responded.
“That guy just robbed us!” the manager shouted.
Other officers joined in as Farrell and Lewis chased 33-year-old Edgardo Soto of Belleville three blocks into East Rutherford, where Rutherford Officer Stephen Batchelor tackled him in a Van Winkle Place backyard.
In a black packpack nearby was “a large amount of cash and a loaded a Cobra .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun,” Police Chief John R. Russo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Moments earlier, the robber “passed a note to the teller requesting the cash and stating that he had a gun,” the chief said, adding “We got the note, too.”
Soto was being held on $400,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with robbery, making terroristic threats, resisting arrest, hindering, receiving stolen property and a pair of weapons offenses.
“Just an outstanding job by everyone involved all the way around,” Russo said.
The FBI responded and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Criminal Identification processed evidence.
Edgardo Soto MUGSHOT: Courtesy RUTHERFORD PD / PHOTOS: Shawn Hagal (I&H Photography)