NEWARK, N.J. – A suburban New York woman drove her father’s Porsche to New Jersey, donned a bright red wig and used a paintball gun to rob a bank of more than $100,000 that she may have taken to Atlantic City, the U.S. attorney’s office alleged in a criminal complaint released Friday.
Michelle Cantatore had an initial appearance Friday afternoon in federal court in Newark, where she is charged with bank robbery.
It was not immediately known if Cantatore had retained an attorney who could comment on the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
FBI agents found the 51-year-old White Plains resident at Atlantic City’s Borgata hotel and casino on Thursday.
On Feb. 18, a female bandit wearing a red wig and sunglasses walked into Glen Rock Savings Bank in Glen Rock armed with what looked like a long-barreled handgun.
The robber threatened to shoot and kill the bank employees and, after not being satisfied with the amount of money she was handed from the teller’s drawer, forced a bank employee to enter the bank’s vault, according to the criminal complaint.
Also according to the complaint, the robber fled in a white, mid-sized SUV. Investigators were allegedly able to link the vehicle, a Porsche Cayenne, to Cantatore’s father, and traced Michelle Cantatore’s cellphone number to a location near the bank at the time of the robbery.
A paintball gun that matched the description of the robber’s weapon was recovered not far away, investigators said.
Cell tower records also showed Cantatore’s phone was near the Borgata in Atlantic City later on the day of the robbery, authorities said. Casino surveillance video shows Cantatore handing two large stacks of cash to a cashier at the casino, investigators said.
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