N.J. corrections officer suspected in Md. bank robberies

October 12, 1997|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A corrections officer in a New Jersey jail whom authorities suspect of using bomb threats to rob 17 Mid-Atlantic banks over three months was arrested yesterday at his home, the FBI said.

Freddie Feliciano, 22, of Hamilton Township, N.J., was charged with robbing a bank in Delaware on Aug. 30.

But investigators believe Feliciano hit 16 other banks, including three in Maryland -- the Crestar Bank branch in Potomac on Aug. 16, a First National Bank branch in Havre De Grace on Aug. 26, and a First Mariner Bank branch in Bel Air on Aug. 30., said FBI Agent Larry K. Foust.

The FBI would not disclose how much money was stolen in the 17 robberies, some of which occurred in Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Foust said.

The robber would enter the banks and give a note to tellers that demanded money and stated that he had a bomb in his bag.

After getting money, he would leave the bag on the counter and flee.

None of the bags contained explosives, Foust said, but the threats forced police and firefighters to evacuate buildings and call in bomb squads.

"We considered him to be dangerous," Foust said. "He showed no fear, didn't wear a mask. We just didn't know if he would ever put a real bomb in there."

Feliciano -- a corrections officer at the Mercer County Detention Center in Trenton -- was identified by an official at the facility who noticed a bank surveillance photograph that was published in a local newspaper, Foust said.

Feliciano was being held in New Jersey and will appear before a federal judge Tuesday, Foust said. Bail has not been set.

Pub Date: 10/12/97

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