Ocean Gate Man Connected with Lacey, Toms River Bank Robberies
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Robert Fitzpatrick, Jr., 35, has been arrested and charged with two counts of Robbery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a.
Authorities say on Wednesday, May 29th, Lacey Township Police Detectives, as well as Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, responded to investigate a robbery that had just occurred at the Kearny Bank in Lanoka Harbor.
The investigation revealed that a male dressed in dark clothing approached two bank tellers and demanded money.
Officials say the suspect then fled the bank on foot into a nearby wooded area with more than $13,000 in stolen United States currency.
With the cooperation of the Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau, further investigation revealed that the suspect from the Kearney Bank robbery in Lacey matched the description of the suspect involved in the robbery of a Bank of America in Toms River that had occurred on April 25th.
Officials say the vehicle utilized in the commission of the robbery was identified with the assistance of the New Jersey State Police as well as the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission; this led to the identification of Fitzpatrick, with an address in Ocean Gate, as the suspect in both bank robberies.
According to officials, on Thursday, June 6th,, Detectives from both the Lacey and Toms River Township Police Departments, along with members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team and Stafford Township Police Department K-9 Unit, executed a search warrant at Fitzpatrick’s residence in Ocean Gate.
Fitzpatrick was taken into custody and transported to the Lacey Township Police Department where he was processed and charged with the May 29th Kearney Bank robbery, and subsequently transported to the Toms River Township Police Department where he was processed and charged with the April 25th Bank of America robbery.
Officials say Fitzpatrick is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail awaiting a detention hearing. Additional charges may be forthcoming.
Prosecutor Billhimer would like to extend his gratitude to the Lacey Township Police Department, the Toms River Township Police Department, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team and High Tech Crime Unit, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Stafford Township Police Department K-9 Unit, the Ocean Gate Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for their collective assistance and cooperation in conducting this investigation and apprehending Fitzpatrick.
The public and media are reminded that all defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.