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June 20, 2019

New Jersey woman admits to crime spree, robbing bank dressed as nun

June 23, 2018
Swahilys Pedraza-Rodriguez, of New Haven, Conn. Pedraza-Rodriguez and Melisa Aquino Arias, of the Dominican Republic, appeared before a judge in Newark, N.J. (Bergen County Sheriff’S Office V)

NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey woman has admitted her role in a monthlong crime spree across two states, including an attempted bank robbery in Pennsylvania where she and another woman dressed as nuns.

Melisa Aquino Arias also pleaded guilty Friday to robbing a bank in Garfield, New Jersey, while wearing a head covering and conspiring to steal money from an ATM at a bank in Scotrun, Pa. The 23-year-old Passaic woman faces up to 41 years in prison when she’s sentenced Sept. 21.




The pleas came just weeks after her co-defendant, 19-year-old Swahilys Pedraza-Rodriguez, of New Haven, Conn., pleaded guilty to the same offenses.

They were arrested about two weeks after the Garfield robbery, when they went to a Teaneck bank and asked about opening an account. An employee there recognized them and called police.




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