Two New Haven men are behind bars after an off-duty Guilford police officer spotted them preparing to rob a Middletown bank and called the local police department, authorities said.
Guilford Police Officer David Olszewski was shopping with his family when he noticed a white car parked behind the TD bank at 911 Washington Street in Middletown at 9:20 a.m. Monday.
Inside were two men, later identified as 47-year-old Hakim Salam and 44-year-old Mustafa Muhammad, of New Haven, putting on masks and gloves. Salam, the driver, covered the license plate with cardboard, and the two walked toward the bank, police said.
Olszewski recognized the robbery attempt and called Middletown police, who sent officers to the scene. While police were on the way, Salam and Muhammad entered the bank, jumped the counter and stole $3,500 cash from the money drawers, police said.
A bank employee told police one of the men reached into his pocket as though feeling for a weapon. Workers were shaken up but uninjured, according to police.
The bank’s panic alarm went off at 9:21 a.m. and Salam and Muhammad ran out the front entrance and toward their car, police said.
Middletown police stopped the car as the suspects tried to leave the parking lot. Salam and Muhammad were arrested.
Salam, also known as Michael Clyde, Michael Kemp, Michael Salam, Kenneth Shazel, Michael Shazel and Khalid Wali, was charged with second-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny, second-degree breach of peace, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, misuse of a marker plate, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
Muhammad, also known as Benjamin Williams and Benjamin Cauley, was charged with second-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny and second-degree breach of peace.
Both suspects were held on $500,000 bond and are due in court Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.