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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Virginia Man Charged With Robbing Two New Jersey Banks

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Virginia man appeared in federal court today to face charges that he robbed a TD Bank in Ocean City, New Jersey, and a Wells Fargo Bank in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Bruce Wayne Higgins, 43, of Herndon, Virginia, is charged by complaint with two counts of bank robbery. Higgins appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court and was detained.

According to the complaint:

On Dec. 15, 2016, a man entered a TD Bank in Ocean City and presented a teller with a note that read: “GUN IN Pocket, MONEY NOW or –BANG-.” He then took cash from the teller and fled on foot. Afterwards, law enforcement officers issued a bulletin with a bank surveillance photograph. The robber was later identified as Higgins.

On Dec. 16, 2017, a man fitting Higgins’s description walked into a TD Bank in Atlantic City. After recognizing Higgins from the police bulletin, a bank employee triggered the bank’s “hold-up” alarm, and Higgins left the bank and got into a taxicab. Officers from the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD) arrived at the TD Bank and, following up on information provided by witnesses, issued a bulletin describing the taxicab’s number and direction of travel.

Having received the bulletin describing the taxicab, another ACPD officer located the taxicab near a Wells Fargo Bank in Atlantic City while Higgins was allegedly in the process of robbing that bank. Higgins entered the Wells Fargo Bank and presented a teller with a note that read, “Gun in Pocket, Money Now or Bang now.” After Higgins took the money and fled the bank, ACPD officers arrested him.

Higgins had been detained at the Atlantic County Jail on state charges relating to the bank robberies.

Each bank robbery count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Ocean City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Chad Callahan; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Henry White; the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor; and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Damon Tyner, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

Defense Counsel: Lori Koch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Press Release Number: 
Updated March 15, 2017