“Bandittracker” is a Bandit Catcher
|FBI Newark July 15, 2010|
NEWARK, NJ—The FBI, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Michael B. Ward, announces the apprehension of Marcus Newton, age 47, originally of Grand Rapids Michigan, in connection with the December 19, 2009 robbery of the TD Bank at 601 White Horse Pike in Absecon, New Jersey. The FBI attributes the identification and subsequent charging of Newton to publicity of the robbery on the bandittrackernortheast.com website.
Based on information in the criminal complaint filed in Camden, New Jersey, the bank robbery with which Newton is charged happened at approximately 1:52 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. The robber presented a teller a note, collected an undisclosed amount of money from the teller, crossed the White Horse Pike in Absecon to a supermarket parking lot, and entered a mini van. The van left the parking lot.
On March 24, 2010, the New Jersey and New York offices of the FBI announced the new bandittrackernortheast.com website which features bank surveillance photos of bank robbers in action, along with descriptions of the suspects and a brief account of the robberies. Photos of the December 19, 2009 robbery of the TD Bank in Absecon were featured on the site. Two days later, an Atlantic City area newspaper covered the story of the new website with special attention to the Absecon robbery and featured a bank surveillance photograph of the suspect taken from the website. Later that day, March 26, 2010, the FBI agent assigned to the matter received a call.
The call came from a United States Probation Officer assigned to Camden, New Jersey. She advised that she was supervising an individual who fit the description of the bank robber depicted in the newspaper article that day. After reviewing a better quality photograph of the robber sent to her by the FBI agent, the probation officer alleged that the robber was Marcus Newton—the same man the officer had been supervising. According to the criminal complaint, Newton was on probation for prior bank robberies. After further investigation, the FBI was convinced that Newton was the person responsible for the Absecon bank robbery and presented the case to the office of the U.S. Attorney for prosecution.
This case highlights the success and importance of the FBI’s partnership with Electronic Tracking Systems (ETS), the company who designed and hosts bandittrackernortheast.com free of charge. Because many of the cases have been solved based on tips provided to law enforcement and are pending, the FBI cannot specify which of the cases detailed on the website have been solved as a direct result of it; suffice it to say that the large majority of those suspects listed as “Captured” can be attributed to its success.
“The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation,” said Ward. “Bandittrackernortheast.com is an excellent tool to facilitate that cooperation—a way for the public to help take up the fight against crime in their community. We are pleased with its success and grateful to ETS for providing this tool. I must also recognize the efforts of the Absecon Police Department in this investigation, who remain essential partners with the FBI.”
Newton appeared before the Honorable Joel Schneider, United States Magistrate Judge, in Camden on July 13, 2010 and was remanded pending a bail hearing on Monday, July 19, 2010. If convicted, Newton is facing up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the bank robbery. A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Anyone with information about bank robberies can call the FBI at 973-792-3000 to provide information. The FBI asks the media to include mention of bandittrackernortheast.com in any coverage of bank robberies.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Howard Wiener under the direction of Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.