Cops say bank teller recruited day laborer to stage robbery

Bank teller Herminia Arevalo, 25, of Brentwood (right) is accused of conspiring with day laborer Lorenzo Palma, 51, to rob the Citizens Bank branch in Coram Monday morning, Suffolk County Police said. (HANDOUT / December 14, 2009)

A Long Island teller is accused of conspiring with a day laborer to stage a robbery at her bank Monday morning, Suffolk County police said.

Herminia Arevalo, 25, of Brentwood, is an employee at the Citizens Bank branch located on 284 Middle County Road in Coram.

Police say Arevalo approached 51-year-old Lorenzo Palma Salinas with the plan to rob the bank earlier in the day. The teller met Salinas at a location frequented by day laborers, police said.

During their initial meeting Arevalo directed Salinas to enter the bank and give her a note demanding money. The pair had agreed to meet up after the crime to split the stolen cash, authorities said.

The fake robbery took place as scheduled at the Coram branch around 11:30 a.m.

Police later arrested Salinas after finding him at a nearby McDonalds.

When investigators grew suspicious about the robbery, they interviewed the teller who confessed to the crime. Arevalo told police she drove Salinas to the bank to commit the robbery.

Salinas was charged with third-degree grand larceny, while Arevalo was charged with third-degree grand larceny and officering a false instrument for filing.

The pair are being held and are scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday.