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Long Island Man Released Under NY's Bail Reform Nabbed After Four Bank Robberies, Police Say

Romell Nellis
Romell Nellis Photo Credit: Nassau County Police

A Long Island man accused of committing four bank robberies who was on the run after being released under New York’s new bail reform laws has been apprehended, police say.

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Romell Nellis, 40, of Long Beach Road in Hempstead, has been charged with robbery and a variety of other offenses, Nassau County Police announced on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Nellis, who police say had an open Nassau County warrant for two counts of third-degree robbery and two counts of third-degree grand larceny, was also charged with two counts of third-degree robbery. 

In addition, he had an open warrant for a violation of probation for cutting off his electronic monitoring device (ankle monitor). 

Police say Nellis had entered the Roslyn Savings Bank on Hempstead Turnpike around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 and passed a note to a teller saying he had a gun and demanded cash, Nassau County Police said. The teller complied and the Nellis fled southbound on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

There were six employees inside the bank at the time of the robbery. 

A subsequent investigation determined Nellis was also responsible for a robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank, located at 145 Fulton Avenue in Hempstead, that occurred on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m., according to police.

It was the second time Nellis has been accused of robbing the Roslyn Savings Bank. In December, police say he robbed that bank as well as the Chase Bank in Valley Stream within two weeks. 

Following his arrest on Wednesday, Jan. 8, Nassau County Judge David McAndrews admitted that Nellis wasn’t charged with a “bondable or bail offense,” according to reports, but held him anyway, stating that he believed him to be a “menace to society.”

A higher-level judge later reversed McAndrews’ order and Nellis was released with an ankle monitor. A short time later, he reportedly cut off the ankle monitor and has been at large since then.

Nellis is due to be arraigned on Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

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