Police: Hempstead man robbed more banks following release under bail reform law

Posted: Updated:

A Hempstead man who allegedly robbed a fourth bank after his release under the state's new bail reform law was arraigned in court Thursday.

Romell Nellis allegedly held up the Roslyn Savings Bank in West Hempstead and another bank in Valley Stream in December. He was arrested on Jan. 8, but was quickly let go under the state's new bail law.

After being released, officers say he committed two more robberies. One of them was allegedly at the same West Hempstead bank. He was arrested again on Tuesday.

Nellis shared a video on Facebook of him cutting off an ankle monitor in November, before he had robbed the banks. A law enforcement source says he was given permission to cut the monitor off at that time.

However, authorities say Nellis was fitted with a new monitoring device on Jan. 10, but then cut that one off without permission and violated probation. They say he skipped out on two court dates and robbed the banks shortly thereafter.

Ann Smith, Nellis' godmother, says her godson likely has a drug problem and needs to be admitted to rehab.

Prosecutors say Nellis has a long criminal history, including three felony and three misdemeanor convictions. Due to that record, the judge says Nellis faces a minimum of eight years behind bars if convicted.

Nellis is being held on $1 million cash bail. He is charged with grand larceny, violation of probation and multiple counts of robbery.

He's due back in court on Feb. 18.


Police: Homeless man released under bail reform wanted in third bank robbery 
Police: Man wanted for robbing West Hempstead bank for second time 
State Sen. Kaminsky: Democrats have plan to fix bail reform law 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."