News and Press Releases

Essex county, n.J., man charged with eight bank robberies; girlfriend charged with conspiracy to commit two bank robberies



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2013


 

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man made his initial court appearance today in connection with his alleged role in eight bank robberies that took place between Nov. 20, 2012, and Sept. 11, 2013, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Andrew Thomas, 32, of Newark, is charged by complaint with eight counts of bank robbery. His girlfriend, Jennifer Pinto, 32, also of Newark, is charged with conspiring to commit two of the eight bank robberies. Both made their initial court appearances today before U.S. Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Thomas is allegedly responsible for a bank robbery spree that spanned several months and four counties in New Jersey and which included seven bank robberies and one attempt. Pinto is charged in the same complaint with two counts of conspiracy to commit bank robbery in connection with two of the eight bank robberies for which Thomas is charged.   

Thomas robbed or attempted to rob eight banks on eight separate dates between November 2012 and September 2013.  Thomas robbed the following banks on the following dates:

Nov. 20, 2012

Wells Fargo Bank
550 Broad Street
Newark

Jan. 10, 2013

Investors Savings Bank
946 Amboy Avenue
Edison, N.J.

May 3, 2013

Investors Savings Bank
56 Westfield Avenue
Clark, N.J.

May 30, 2013

Garden State Community Bank
1162 Green Street
Iselin, N.J.

June 6, 2013

JP Morgan Chase Bank
60 Stirling Road
Watchung, N.J.

July 30, 2013

Wells Fargo Bank
550 Broad Street
Newark

August 10, 2013

Garden State Community Bank
310 North Avenue
Cranford, N.J.

Sept.11, 2013

Lusitania Savings Bank
1135 Liberty Avenue
Hillside, N.J.

In several of the bank robberies, Thomas allegedly wore similar clothes and used similar tactics in robbing the bank. In all but two of the bank robberies, Thomas allegedly pointed what appeared to be either a silver or black handgun directly at the victim bank tellers and verbally demanded money. Thomas also wore either a black V-neck shirt or blue button down shirt in several of the robberies. Pinto is charged with conspiring to commit the bank robberies in Watchung and Cranford on June 6, 2013, and August 10, 2013, respectively. In each of those bank robberies, Pinto allegedly assisted Thomas by driving him to and from the bank robberies.

Each count of bank robbery with which Thomas is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He was detained.

Each count of conspiracy with which Pinto is charged carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. She was released on $100,000 bond.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford. He also thanked the Newark, Edison, Clark, Woodbridge, Watchung, Cranford, and Hillside police departments for their contributions to the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Eskew of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.

13-369                                                     

Defense counsel:
Thomas: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Pinto: Roy B. Greenman Esq., Union, N.J.

Thomas, Andrew Complaint

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