Scotch Plains man arrested in connection with 2 bank robberies
A Scotch Plains man has been charged with two counts of robbery and may face additional charges in connection with two bank robberies that took place Sunday in Green Brook and Bridgewater.
Andrew D. Miller, age 20, of Donato Circle, Scotch Plains, was arrested by police from that township following a pursuit that spanned two counties.
In a press release Monday, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano said that on Sunday at approximately 1:24 p.m., "Bridgewater Township Police responded to a 911 call reporting a robbery at the TD Bank located on Union Avenue."
When officers arrived at the bank, they spoke with bank employees who said that an unidentified man handed the bank teller a note announcing the robbery. The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash after which time the suspect fled the bank on foot. Law enforcement agencies throughout the area were given a description of the suspect.
Several agencies units, including detectives from the Bridgewater Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations /Forensics Unit and Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the bank to begin an investigation. During that time, authorities were alerted to another robbery in nearby Green Brook Township.
"At approximately 2:19 p.m., Green Brook Police responded to an alarm at the TD Bank located on Washington Avenue. Responding officers met with bank employees who stated that a male suspect handed a bank teller a note demanding money and verbally instructed the teller on the denominations that he wanted," the prosecutor said in the press release.
Once again, the suspect fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of money and a description was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies.
"A physical description of the suspect as well as a description of the clothing he was wearing were provided to officers who quickly ascertained that the actor matched the same description as the previous TD Bank robbery in Bridgewater," the prosecutor said.
According to Soriano, at approximately 2:46 p.m., police in Somerset County were informed about an active foot pursuit involving officers from the Scotch Plains Police Department and the bank robbery suspect.
On Monday, Scotch Plains Police Chief Brian Mahoney said that at 2 p.m., his department received an alert and a description of the suspect. Mahoney said Miller was linked to a vehicle "that returned to the last known address in Scotch Plains."
Less than an hour later, at about 2:45 p.m., Mahoney said Police Officer Zach Von Langen was on routine patrol when he observed a man matching the description of the suspect approaching the TD Bank on Park Avenue in Scotch Plains. The officer then radioed for assistance but as additional units approached, the suspect took off on foot and headed north across Route 22. Officers and units from the Scotch Plains K9 unit tracked Miller to an apartment at Donato Circle, believing he was hiding inside.
"The area around the complex was secured and the Union County SWAT team was notified. The SWAT team was able to gain entry to the residence and verify that the suspect was not there," Chief Mahoney said.
As this was taking place, police also received another report stating that a man matching Miller's description was seen fleeing the apartment complex and cutting through a creek. Local and county authorities conducted a search of the area and at about 5:40 p.m., Miller was found attempting to hide in the bathroom of a Subway Restaurant on Route 22 West. He was arrested by Scotch Plains police and later turned over to authorities in Somerset County.
A Green Brook Police detective later located and impounded the suspect’s vehicle parked on Mountain Avenue in Scotch Plains. Detectives say the vehicle was stolen out of Springfield.
According to the Somerset County prosecutor, Miller was charged with two counts of second degree robbery but additional charges out of Union County are anticipated, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Miller's bail was set at $75,000 cash or bond.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident should contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Bridgewater Police Department at 908-722-4111, the Green Brook Police Department at 732-968-1188, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS or online at www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE." alls will remain anonymous.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.