BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bridgewater man was arrested in connection with an attempted bank robbery in Bridgewater and a robbery in Somerville Monday, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson.
Douglas Conroy, 60, was charged with first degree robbery, third degree theft and third degree attempted theft.
According to Robertson, Bridgewater Township Police responded to a 911 call Monday reporting an attempted bank robbery at the Provident Bank, on Union Avenue. Officers said that at about 11:59 a.m., Conroy entered the bank and ordered a female teller to fill a white colored plastic bag with money.
Robertson said the officers reported that the bank teller walked away from Conroy, who left the bank immediately without any money. Bridgewater Township Police detectives, and detectives with the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.
At about 2:36 p.m. that same day, Robertson said, Somerville police responded to a 911 call of a bank robbery at Chase bank, in Somerville. Officers reported that the suspect was described as the same male who had attempted the earlier bank robbery in Bridgewater.
According to the report, Conroy approached a male teller and ordered him to place money in a white colored bag, threatening and warning the teller that he had a gun and didn't want to hurt him. The teller, Robertson said, gave Conroy an undisclosed amount of money.
Conroy, Robertson said, then fled on foot toward the Shoprite shopping center in Somerville. A retired police officer from Bernard's Township Police, who was doing business at the bank, was alerted of the robbery, and he followed the suspect to his car, taking a picture of the vehicle that was then sent to responding officers.
A detective from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit saw the suspect and his vehicle while responding to the Chase Bank. He first saw him parked near the Wells Fargo bank, in Somerville, Robertson said.
Conroy was taken into custody, with assistance from the Somerville Police Department, without incident. He was taken to Somerset County Jail, pending a bail detention hearing.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office at 908-231-7100, Somerville Police Department at 908-725-0331, Bridgewater Township Police Department at 908-722-4111 or via the STOPit app. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers' Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS.
All calls will be kept confidential.