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FBI: Female Garfield Bank Robbery 'Nuns' Held After Leonia Grab

Bank surveillance photos from Garfield (color) and Tannersville, PA (black and white).
Bank surveillance photos from Garfield (color) and Tannersville, PA (black and white). Photo Credit: COURTESY: FBI

TEANECK, N.J. -- ( UPDATE ) A Connecticut woman and an Dominican national were being held in connection with the robbery of a Garfield bank last month after Leonia police caught them fleeing a Teaneck bank on Sunday.

FBI agents believe Swahilys Pedraza, 19, of New Haven and Dominican national Melissa Aquino Arias, 23, dressed as nuns in a failed attempt to rob a bank in the Poconos in Pennsylvania several weeks ago, Daily Voice has learned.

Both were being held Monday in the Bergen County Jail on federal warrants charging them with robbery through threat or fear of harm.

The pair entered the NVE Bank on Palisade Avenue in Teaneck around noon Sunday and "engaged the manager in conversation about opening an account," a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the incident said.

"The manager recognized them from an earlier FBI alert and had an employee call police," the source said.

An alert was issued, and moments later Leonia Police Officer Eduardo Millan and Raymond Forsdahl pulled the pair's car over on westbound Route 80.

Authorities say the women -- one armed with a pistol -- robbed somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 from the Spencer Savings bank on Passaic Street in Garfield on Sept. 28.

SEE: FBI Releases Photos Of Garfield Female Bank Robbers

The FBI believes both are also the shortish women -- 5 feet tall to 5-foot-2 -- who fled a Tannersville, PA bank on Aug. 29 empty-handed after one of them flashed a gun.

The pair ordered tellers and customers to put their hands in the air and demanded cash but then took off after an alarm was triggered.

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