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Brothers charged in Metuchen bank robbery

BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

METUCHEN — Two Carteret brothers have been charged with staging a bomb scare at Metuchen High School last week in an attempt to divert police before they allegedly robbed a bank in the borough, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief David Q. Irizarry.

Donell Cheek, 32, and Dashawn Cheek, 27, were charged with robbery, theft and making a false public alarm.

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

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

The man then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

A short time after, police were able to locate the man and began following him and his brother. The two men were pulled over when they turned onto Barbour Place in Piscataway, which is about 12 miles from the borough.

Police also were able to recover 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 and no injuries were reported.

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 Federal Bureau of Investigation 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.

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