Brothers charged in Metuchen bank robbery

Metuchen Police said today that two brothers have been arrested and charged with robbing a bank in the borough after staging a bomb scare at the high school to divert police.

Donell Cheek, 32, and his brother, Dashawn Cheek, 27, both of Carteret, were charged with robbery, theft, and making a false public alarm.

Bail was set at $250,000 each for the men, who were apprehended in Piscataway as they attempted to flee from police.

An investigation by Detective Sgt. Robert Belluscio of the Metuchen Police Department determined that one of the men, dressed in black and wearing a face mask, entered the TD Bank on Route 27 in Metuchen at noon on November 4, 2016 and demanded cash.

The man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, but was traced by police, who followed him and his brother and pulled them over when they turned onto Barbour Place in Piscataway.

The two subsequently were arrested and charged.

Police also recovered the stolen cash.

The investigation subsequently determined that an hour before the robbery, one of the brothers anonymously called to report that a bomb was placed at Metuchen High School.

Approximately 800 children attending the school were evacuated immediately and remained outside for about two hours while the school was searched. No bomb was found.

There were no injuries, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Metuchen Police Chief David Q. Irizarry.

Police determined that the bomb threat was called in to divert police away from the bank robbery.

Carey thanked the Piscataway Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and the FBI for assisting the Metuchen Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office during the investigation.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Belluscio of the Metuchen Police Department at (732) 632-8541.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against the Cheek brothers are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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