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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Convicted Bank Robber, 70, Charged With Stabbing Albany Man Dead At Mall In Bergen County

Augusto G. Perez, images from 2011
Augusto G. Perez, images from 2011 Photo Credit: FBI Newark

UPDATE: With his dying breath, an Albany man who was stabbed in the parking lot of a Bergen County shopping mall identified his alleged killer -- a 70-year-old convicted bank robber from North Bergen.

"Augusto. Augusto," Omar Cruz, 64, told responders, a law enforcement source said.

A check of Cruz's cellphone led them to Augusto G. Perez.

Perez was charged with murder, illegal weapons possession and suppressing evidence in Tuesday night's killing of Cruz on the Maywood side of Bergen Town Center off eastbound Route 4, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said Thursday.

The 5-foot-6-inch, 154-pound Perez remained held in the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

He was arrested Wednesday following an investigation led by the homicide squad of Musella's Major Crimes Unit.

Musella didn't immediately suggest a possible motive, although investigators suspect it had to do with money.

The prosecutor did say that detectives also charged a second man, Jorge A. Sanchez-Valdez, 48, of Guttenberg with hindering Perez's apprehension.

Paramus EMS rushed the mortally-wounded Cruz to Hackensack University Medical Center around 6 p.m. after Maywood police found him with "multiple stab wounds" outside the Ulta Beauty shop, Musella said earlier.

He died later in the evening, the prosecutor said.

The Cuban-born Perez served federal prison time for robbing a TD Bank branch in Weehawken and a customer of roughly $10,000 at gunpoint on Feb. 28, 2011.

The FBI said he was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses when he pointed a handgun and told a teller at the Park Avenue bank in Spanish: "This is a robbery. Give me the money from the top and bottom [drawers."

Perez also robbed a customer who was making a deposit at the time and pointed the gun at another teller, ordering both to "give him money as well," a federal complaint against Perez says.

He then fled on foot and was believed to have gone to Florida soon after.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT (Daily Voice) was among local media outlets that published FBI-supplied surveillance images following the holdup (see images above).

Augusto G. Perez


On March 10, a confidential informant who'd seen the images contacted the FBI and identified Perez, who he said lived in Sylvan Village, an apartment complex on 43rd Street in North Bergen. Another caller provided similar information.

Perez was captured on April 29, nearly two months after the robbery.

Records show he was released from federal prison on March 13, 2017.

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