'Eminem' Bank Robber Done In By His Unusual Fashion Sense

By | February 28, 2003 at 12:00 AM

The suspect who was dubbed the “Eminem” bank robber by New Jersey police was arrested on Thursday (February 27) due in part to the unusual reversible jacket and wool hat that earned him his nickname.

Michael R. Hasuga, 44, of Belleville, New Jersey, is believed to be the bank robber that federal agents and New Jersey authorities have been trying to apprehend for months, and the same suspect that was featured on the Newark FBI’s Most Wanted List.

Hasuga was captured by an alert police officer who was staking out the Valley National Bank in Belleville. Hasuga waited in line for a teller, handed her a note demanding money, and after he received the cash he calmly walked out of the bank.

Belleville Police Lieutenant Anthony Romandetto revealed that he watched the suspect exit the Valley National Bank shortly after 11:15 a.m. ET on Thursday. “He fit the description from a past flyer-the clothing,” Romandetto said. “I followed him as he was walking across the street from the bank. He took off his wool cap and he placed it in his pocket and he took out a baseball cap and placed it on, which drew my suspicion more to him. He continued to walk-now he’s taking off his jacket and he’s reversing it, which heightened it even more, my suspicion.”

As Lt. Romandetto watched Hasuga changing his clothing around, a bank-robbery alert was broadcast on his radio. Romandetto called for backup, and he and the responding officers arrested Hasuga without incident. Interestingly, the “Eminem” robber had demanded that the bank teller give him back the robbery note, which police revealed they later found in his pocket.

The suspect is believed to be responsible for 11 other bank robberies in towns in the surrounding area, including Bloomfield, Dover Township, Rutherford, Clifton, Lyndhurst, Hasbrouck Heights, Teaneck, Roselle Park, Ft. Lee, and Kearney.

Hasuga is set to be arraigned Friday (February 28) on federal bank-robbery charges.

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