FAIRVIEW, N.J. -- North Bergen police chased down and caught an ex-con at the Fairview border moments after they said he fled with $100 in singles from a township bank Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives were trying to determine whether Neal C. Hornung of Belleville is the same man who robbed a nearby TD Bank in April -- and the very same branch two months ago.
Hornung, 51, was released from prison in April after serving more than 10 years for robbery and shoplifting, state Department of Corrections records show.
Hornung walked into the Banco Popular branch on Kennedy Boulevard at 85th Street around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday with an open umbrella, in an apparent effort to cover his face, Detective Sgt. David J. Dowd told Daily Voice.
"The robber in the TD Bank holdup (on April 11) used an umbrella, too," Dowd said. "This time, the teller immediately hit the panic alarm."
The robber demanded money, and the teller handed over a stack of 100 singles, the sergeant said.
He then hopped on a bicycle and rode a short distance before getting into a Ford Taurus wagon, he said.
Thanks to the teller, Detectives Roberto Maldonado and Hector Botello got there quickly.
"Based on surveillance footage from the previous robberies, along with additional evidence which linked both a bicycle and a vehicle to Hornung, the detectives were able to spot him fleeing from the bank," the sergeant said.
They chased the car down to Tonnelle Avenue and then to the 100 block of Broad Avenue in Fairview before Hornung pulled over, Dowd said.
He "surrendered without incident," the sergeant said. "There were no injuries."
The money was recovered, the car was impounded and charges were being drawn up, he said.
Meanwhile, detectives were exploring whether Hornung might also be responsible for the April robbery of $500 from the TDK Bank off 78th Street -- seven blocks down from Banco Popular on Kennedy Boulevard -- a week after his release from prison.
He may also be the same robber who hit the Banco Popular in June, authorities said.