FRANKLIN, NJ - A New Brunswick man was arrested in connection to two robberies in Franklin during the same week, according to a news release.
Police say Duron Bridgers, 22 robbed three men by gunpoint, on separate occasions after setting up meetings to exchange a gaming console. One meeting was set up near Mindy Drive on June 16, and the other near Ellen Street on June 18, according to police.
Bridgers was taken into custody by detectives on June 19 in the area of Hempstead Plaza on Route 27 in Franklin Township, police say. Following Bridgers arrest, a tan-colored handgun with an extended magazine and a PlayStation 4 game console was located in his vehicle, according to police.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, the Franklin Township Police department responded to a 9-11 call on June 16, at approximately 4:35 pm.
"Franklin Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a robbery of an adult male and a juvenile by an unknown male at gunpoint in the area of Mindy Drive in Franklin Township," Robertson said in a statement. "Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department responded to investigate, which revealed that the victims made arrangements to meet with the suspect to exchange a PlayStation 4 gaming console. The exchange was arranged through a web application."
Bridgers pointed a yellowish-colored handgun robbing the victim of the PlayStation 4 game console, according to police reports.
Police say Bridgers arranged to meet up with two men on Ellen Street on June 18 to exchange a PlayStation 4 gaming computer.
"The victims stated that upon their arrival at the exchange location the suspect pointed a gun with a long extended magazine at them," Robertson said in a statement. "The suspect robbed the victims of $300 dollars in cash and a gold necklace that the suspect ripped off of one of the victim’s neck."
The FTPD posted the following announcement on its social media page on June 19:
Did you just buy a bike on one of the many popular peer to peer online sales platforms? Nervous about meeting up with someone you don’t know for the transaction? You can come to Franklin Township’s Safe Exchange Zone. You can plan to complete your sale in the designated spots in front of the Public Safety Building. The police will not get involved in the transaction, but this offers both buyers and sellers a safe alternative to meeting at a strangers home. #franklinpd #franklinpolice #safeexchange #community
Bridgers has been charged with two counts of 1st-degree Robbery and two counts of 2nd-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, according to Robertson. Bridgers will remain at the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing in this matter.
Police request anyone with information relating to the robberies to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app.
The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.