Mark Elbaum, a resident of Merritt Drive, has been charged in the Oct. 1 robbery of the Financial Resources Feral Credit Union on Easton Avenue in Franklin; the Oct. 23 robbery of the Peapack-Gladstone Bank branch on East Main Street in Bridgewater and a third bank robbery in North Brunswick in Middlesex County Monday morning, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. Elbaum is also a suspect in the Oct. 24 robbery of the Northfield Bank in Flemingtonbut is not yet charged.
Robertson said Elbaum is a suspect in several other robberies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and thanked the following agencies for their assistance in the ongoing investigation: the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the North Brunswick Police Department, Edison Police Department, Middlesex Borough Police Department, Flemington Borough Police Department, and the Bensalem Police Department in Pennsylvania.
West Windsor police in Mercer County said there was an attempted robbery at Santander Bank located on Princeton-Hightstown Road around 10:14 a.m. Monday. The suspect, who they said was heavyset with “multiple chins,” was believed to be in his 50s and fled the scene, police said.
Less than an hour later, at about 10:50 a.m., the “round faced multiple chinned” robber struck again and robbed the Valley National Bank on Route 27 in North Brunswick, according to police.
Robertson provided the following details of the robberies in Somerset County:
Franklin Township Police received a call at 9:33 a.m. on Oct 1 that the Financial Resources Federal Credit Union on Easton Avenue had been robbed by a lone suspect who demanded money from a bank teller who turned over an undisclosed amount of cash. The man fled the bank on foot.
Bridgewater Township Police received a call at 12:05 p.m. on Oct. 23 that a robbery had occurred at the Peapack-Gladstone Bank on East Main Street. The suspect entered the bank, demanded money from the teller, and once the money had been turned over, he fled the bank on foot.
The investigation determined that the same individual was a suspect in both Somerset County robberies, as well as additional bank robberies in surrounding jurisdictions, according to Robertson. Elbaum was identified as the suspect responsible for the bank robberies. On Oct. 29, Elbaum was located in Hillsborough at 6:45 p.m. and taken into custody by detectives without incident.
Robertson requests anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or the Bridgewater Police Department at (908) 722-4111 or via the STOPit app.
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) or online atwww.888577tips.org or at www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”
All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential. 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or the Bridgewater Police Department at (908) 722-4111 or via the STOPit app.
Tapinto Flemington contributed to this story