BARNEGAT, NJ – On Friday, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced the guilty plea of Kim Nguyen, 39, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania to two counts of Robbery. Barnegat Police was integral in Nguyen’s apprehension in connection with the March 19, 2019 robbery of M&T Bank, located at 580 North Main Street.
Nguyen also admitted to robbing the Stafford branch of a Wells Fargo Bank a few days prior to the M&T robbery.
According to reports, Nguyen entered the bank, approached the teller, and passed a note demanding money while indicating that “this is a robbery.” Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain said that local Police Detective James Purcell subsequently acted as the “quarterback of the investigation.”
Germain referred to Purcell’s efforts, together with Detective William Hetrick and the Barnegat Police CRU as “herculean.” They painstakingly reviewed footage of the scene and identified the vehicle used in conjunction with the crime.
The search for Nguyen and continuing investigation over the next two weeks took Barnegat officers to several different areas including south Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York City.
Subsequent investigation and surveillance led to Nguyen’s discovery and arrest. “This was done in conjunction with other agencies,” shared Germain.
According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the vehicle was actually registered to Nguyen’s father. Law enforcement officials learned that the defendant was already on parole for a 2012 bank robbery in Pennsylvania conducted in a similar manner.
Ultimately, a fingerprint lifted from one of the robbery notes came up with a match to Nguyen. He was eventually located and apprehended in New York.
Nguyen’s plea agreement calls for two five years sentences in New Jersey State Prison, which will run consecutively. He is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C on October 18, 2019. In accordance with the No Early Release Act, Nguyen must serve a minimum term of 85 percent of his sentence.
In addition to Barnegat Police, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer praised the following other law enforcement agencies for their efforts in apprehending Nguyen: Stafford Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Jersey State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, NYPD 108th Precinct, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department, Linwood City Police Department, Ocean City Police Department, Willistown Township (Pennsylvania) Police Department and the Newtown Township (Pennsylvania) Police Department.