Melisa Aquino Arias, 23, of the Dominican Republic, and Swahilys Pedraza-Rodriguez, 19, of New Haven, Conn., were actually charged with robbing two banks in New Jersey while wearing head scarves, but law enforcement officials say the two women are also suspected the attempted robbery of the Citizens Bank in Tannersville, Pa., on Aug. 28.
The Tannersville heist — which was carried out by two young women wearing black nun’s habits and veils — ended in failure when the perpetrators fled the scene without any money after an alarm was triggered. The FBI had posted surveillance photos from the heist on Twitter.
Pedraza-Rodriguez and Aquino Arias appeared before a judge in Newark, N.J, on Monday after being charged with robbing banks in Garfield and Teaneck, N.J.
Robberies carried out by criminals dressed as nuns are something of a pop culture trope. The 2012 crime drama “The Town” featured robbers disguised as nuns, and the 1990 crime comedy film “Nuns on the Run” depicted two male crooks on the run while wearing habits.