A Hoboken man previously convicted of bank robbery was arrested in the middle of trying to rob an Investors Bank in Cedar Grove yesterday morning, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Frank Meletti, 53, of Hoboken, was charged with one count of attempted bank robbery, authorities said.
Meletti was previously convicted of bank robbery in June 2009 in the District of New Jersey. As a result, he was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release, officials said.
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 said.
On August 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, according to the criminal complaint.
Early yesterday, 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, authorities said.
During the ride to Cedar Grove, Meletti drafted numerous versions of a demand note that he would use for the robbery.
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, officials said.
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, police said.
According to authorities, 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.