Mercer County Prosecutor AngeloJ. Onofri announced today that 58individuals were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception in an organized scheme that used prepaid debit cards to steal from ATMs across the county.
On August 18, 2020, at approximately 8a.m., RobbinsvilleTownshippoliceofficers responded to theSantander Bank onRoute 33 after receiving informationthat multiple individuals were gathering around the ATMusingstacks of cards to withdraw money and attempting to avoid the camera on the ATM. As officers approached, the group took notice and began to hurriedly move away from the ATM.Ultimately, 20 individuals were taken into custodyby police, each withmultiple debit/creditcards and money in their possession.
Robbinsville police reached out to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance and investigators from both agencies quickly began collaborating with authorities in nearby towns likeHamilton, Hopewell, Lawrence, Princeton and West Windsor, as well asSantander Bank.
During the course of the investigation, officers learned that Camden County Prosecutor’s Office reported that multiple thefts occurred at Santander ATMs in its jurisdiction by individuals to fraudulently obtained money. Camden County Prosecutor’s Office advised that the suspects in those thefts came from New York to commit the fraud in New Jersey. Officers also received information from multiple law enforcement sources that instructions were being shared on social media on how to defraud Santander ATM machines.
Prosecutor Onofri praised theteamworkof local law enforcement and said theopen lines of communication and sharing of resourcesallowedlaw enforcement to get ahead of these scammers in someinstances.
At about 9:40 a.m., West Windsor dispatch relayed the information that Robbinsville had a number of individuals in custody. Dispatch also advised that Princeton reported a large sum of money fraudulently obtained from a Santander ATM in its jurisdiction. Information also came in relating that the FBI and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office were actively investigating these cases.
“As a result, heightened awareness was given to the activity at Santander locations in West Windsor,” Prosecutor Onofri said. “West Windsorofficers and detectives from my office were able to detain and investigate five separate crews of suspects at different times throughout the day at theSantander Bankon Princeton-Hightstown Road, resulting in many arrests.”
In Lawrence Township,police were alsoalerted to the ATM scam perpetrated againstthe Princeton Santander,anda description was provided of the suspects and the vehicles used in commission of that crime. Lawrence was further made aware of the countywide scam thatwas occurring and heightened attention was given to the Santander banks in theirtown.Shortly thereafter, at about9:45a.m.,a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle used in the Princeton scamwas spottedin the area of the Santander bank atonFranklinCorner Road. The occupants from the suspect vehiclewerestopped and investigated,and ultimately charged with the conspiracy. The bank reported abnormally high ATM usage and a shortage ofapproximately$40,000.
In Hamilton Township, at approximately 10 a.m., Hamilton police were detailed to theSantander Bank located on South Broad Street on the report of two suspicious vehicles in the parking lot of the bank. It was reported that other Santander Banks in neighboring jurisdictions were reporting suspicious activities at the ATMs so units were detailed to Santander Bank ATM locations throughoutHamilton. Additional vehicles and suspectswere located throughout the day at the ATMs foundat 1700Nottingham Way, 1700KuserRoad and2730 Nottingham Way. During the investigations bank cards, cash, marijuana,and a handgun were recovered.
Hopewell Township had three separate incidentsinvolving separate crewsthatstarted around 11:30 a.m.at the Santander Bank on Pennington Road. Severalfoot chases ensued andallsubjects were apprehended. In addition to the conspiracy charge,SekouTouray, of East Orange, NJ, was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault of a prosecutor’s detective.
Similar incidents were reported in multiple other jurisdictions throughout the state. Theinvestigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending. Authorities are still executing search warrants and working with Santander Bank to determine exactly how much money was stolen. At this time, the total across municipalities in Mercer County is more than $250,000.
During the investigation,bank cards,debit cards, credit cards,cash, marijuana, and a handgun were recovered. Additionally, more than a dozenvehicles were seized throughout the county.Robbinsville K-9Quorisniffed out cocaine totaling 150 gramsin thetrunk of one of thesuspectvehicles in Robbinsville.
The following individuals were arrested and chargedin Mercer Countyon Tuesday, August 18, 2020:
HamiltonTownship1.TylerHolness, 21, of Yonkers, NY2.RasheemLee Jr., 18, of Bronx, NY3.Kymani Hinds, 18, of Bronx, NY4.Michael Santiago, 26, of Bronx, NY5.SaquanVaines, 21, ofArverne, NY6.KareemaHall, 20, of Bronx, NY7.Justin Brown, 22, ofArverne, NY8.MichaelManroop, 24, of Cambridge Heights, NY9.NayvonPatten, 18, ofLinderhurst, NY10.Jerry Trujillo, 24, of Maplewood, NJ11.Zaire Lewis, 18, of Maplewood, NJ12.Frankie Jerome, 21, of Maplewood, NJ13.Ahmad Muhammad, 18, of Maplewood, NJ14.JordanSaquan, 24, of Brooklyn, NY15.ArianRasul, 22, of Brooklyn, NY16.StarsheenJones, 24, of Brooklyn, NY17.Jordan Amador, 27, of Brooklyn, NY18.Steven Wilson, 23, of New York, NY19.NikyeBee, 25, of New York, NY20.Kevin Jones, 23, of New York, NY
HopewellTownship1.EbramaTouray, 23, of East Orange, NJ2.MbembaKaba, 23, of East Orange, NJ3.YacoubaSanogo, 24, of Newark, NJ4.SekouTouray, 22, of East Orange, NJ5.Kingsley Nicolas, 22, of East Orange, NJ6.Orlando C. Chambers Jr., 21, of Lindenhurst, NY7.EmmanuelEdoiseOyakhilome, 22, of Lindenhurst, NY
Lawrence Township1.Elijah N. Oliver, 22, of Brooklyn, NY2.DandreaTaylorDey, 22, of Brooklyn, NY3.Quentin A.Hosten, 22, of Brooklyn, NY4.Zachary B. Johnson, 21, of Brooklyn, NY
Robbinsville Township1.AmoireDupree, 26, of Brooklyn, NY2.BrittanyGittens, 20, of Brooklyn, NY3.HurshumGittens, 26, of Brooklyn, NY4.Charles Gordon, 30, of Brooklyn, NY5.Veronica Gregory, 22, of Brooklyn, NY6.OswinPhilander, 21, of Brooklyn, NY7.JeffreyDebrosse, 31, of Brooklyn, NY8.BoladeAkingboy, 29, of West Hempstead, NY9.Jeffrey Desir, 34, of Brooklyn, NY10.Julio Ramos, 33, of Jamaica, NY11.Kevin Philander, 26, of Newark, DE12.JishawnLee, 19, of Brooklyn, NY13.Marlon Owens, 28, of Bronx, NY14.Alex Burnett, 30, of Jersey City, NJ15.D.T., 16, of Brooklyn, NY16.J.F., 16, of Brooklyn, NY17.AckeemSamuel, 25, of Brooklyn, NY18.Brandon Esperance, 20, of Brooklyn, NY19.KevinOwusu, 19, of Brooklyn, NY20.Kareem Courtney, 23, of Brooklyn, NY
West Windsor1.PhilekBarington, 25, of Queens, NY2.LaTonya S. Stevens, 26, of Bronx, NY3.QwashanD. Mack, 19, of North Brunswick, NJ4.HymeenS. Reynolds, 19, of East Orange, NJ5.BrajaeU. Jones, 23, of Englewood, NJ6.Bryon K Jones Jr., 28, of Garfield, NJ7.Carla E.Donayre-Solano, 28, of Garfield, NJ
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If you rely on MercerMe for your local news, please support us.
To keep the news coming, we rely on support from subscribers and advertising partners. Hyperlocal, independent, and digital — MercerMe has been providing Hopewell Valley its news since 2013. Subscribe today.