Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq., Chief William Schievella, Morris County Park Police Chief William Huyler, East Hanover Township Chief Stanley Hansen, Hanover Township Chief Stephen Gallagher, Harding Township Chief Kevin Gaffney, Morris Plains Chief Scott Thompson, Morris Township Chief Timothy Quinn, Parsippany Chief Michael Peckerman and Rockaway Township Chief Walt Ardin announce the arrest of the "ATM Bandits." The investigation impacted a crime spree in seven Morris County Municipalities as well as the counties of Essex and Somerset.
The group is alleged to have targeted numerous office complexes containing ATMs where they would break into the ATM with the use of power tools. The persons entered the premises dressed in black and with black ski masks. Once inside, the thefts typically were accomplished within an hour.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq. stated: "On Friday, March 12, 2010 at approximately 12:00 a.m. three individuals who are allegedly part of a violent burglary team that targeted businesses in three northern New Jersey counties were taken into custody. A forth individual with ties to this group was later arrested. Additional arrests are possible.
On Thursday, February 25, 2010 the Morris County Prosecutor's Office together with the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association (and its local representative agencies), Morris County Park Police and the Morris County Sheriff's Office implemented the County and Municipality Based Law Enforcement Initiative; an ongoing, intelligence led policing concept.
These individuals, commonly known as the "ATM Bandits," are alleged to have committed numerous burglaries, thefts and in one case a robbery while threatening a security guard with a gun. The group was allegedly responsible for the theft of over $97,000 in cash and over $25,000 in property. The group is alleged to have committed offenses in seven Morris County municipalities as well as municipalities in Essex and Somerset County. ATMs in East Hanover, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Parsippany and Rockaway Township were affected.
Search warrants executed in Wharton and Parsippany resulted in the recovery of substantial property related to this investigation. The trio was charged with over 100 criminal offenses including Robbery, Burglary, Theft and Conspiracy to commit those crimes. The attached document identifies the individuals arrested along with their charges and bail information.
This kind of cooperative, intelligence driven, multi-jurisdictional County and Municipal based law enforcement initiative is cutting edge and I believe will become the new wave of the future as we do "more with less" while also effectuating better qualitative arrests and prosecutions.
This joint initiative is one of the most proactive projects ever attempted to eradicate crime in Morris County. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance law enforcement efforts to maintain safer streets, improve security, and as a result, improve the quality of life in our Morris County communities and its citizens.
A safe community is the most essential and rudimentary service the government is duty-bound to ensure and our taxpayers deserve nothing less. As part of this initiative, law enforcement was tasked to triage the most violent and prolific offenders who were already committing crime in the County. This was one of our target packages, based upon the seriousness of their alleged crimes and the frequency of their alleged criminal activity.
Members of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, working with officers assigned to the task force from local police agencies worked together to solve these crimes. Without the coordinated effort, it is unlikely that the crime would have been solved as quickly.
In this target package, members of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office along with officers from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, Morris County Sheriff's Office, Morris County Park Police, Dover, East Hanover, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Morris Plains, Morristown, Morris Township, Mountain Lakes, Mount Olive Township, Parsippany, Randolph Township, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township police departments coordinated intelligence, conducted surveillances and other investigative actions, to effectuate these arrests.
I am very proud of our first success and complimentary to the local police agencies that saw the value of participating in such a novel endeavor that will undoubtedly make Morris County as a whole safer."