Investigators have arrested an Ocean Gate man in connection with bank robberies in Toms River and Lacey townships.
Robert Fitzpatrick, Jr., 35, has been charged with robbery in the two incidents.
Lacey police, 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 May 29 robbery that had just occurred at the Kearny Bank branch in the township’s Lanoka Harbor section. Surveillance video and witness accounts showed a man dressed in dark clothing approaching two bank tellers and demanding money. The suspect then fled the bank on foot into a nearby wooded area with more than $13,000 in stolen United States currency, authorities said.
With the cooperation of the Toms River police detectives, the 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 branch in Toms River that had occurred on April 25, 2019. 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, which led to the identification of Fitzpatrick, the prosecutor’s office said.
Detectives from both the Lacey and Toms River Township police departments on Thursday, 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 29 Kearney Bank robbery, and subsequently transported to the Toms River Township Police Department where he was processed and charged with the April 25 Bank of America robbery.
Fitzpatrick is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail awaiting a detention hearing. Additional charges may be forthcoming.