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Oradell Man Admits Role In Multiple Bank Robberies And Robberies Of Liquor Store And Gas Station

Mahwah Bank Robbery Foiled as Getaway Car Crashes

file photo by Boyd loving

July 26,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Oradell NJ, An Oradell, New Jersey, man today admitted robbing four banks, a liquor store, and a gas station between June 2017 and December 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joel Robbins, 47, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with four counts of bank robbery and two counts of Hobbs Act robbery.

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

Robbins robbed the following locations on the dates set forth below:




Chase Bank Whippany June 6, 2017
Santander Bank Parsippany July 20, 2017
The Liquor Factory Hopatcong October 15, 2017
Chase Bank Edgewater October 25, 2017
Raceway Gas Station Pinebrook November 26, 2017
TD Bank Mahwah December 3, 2017

In the TD Bank robbery, Robbins walked into the bank wearing gray pants, a black jacket, sunglasses, a dark skull cap, and light-colored latex gloves. As he entered the bank, Robbins pulled a bandana over his face. Robbins’s accomplice, Wanda Soel, 52, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, allegedly waited for Robbins in a Toyota Corolla parked outside the bank.

Robbins pulled a black handgun (later determined to be fake) from his waistband and pointed it at two bank tellers, demanded money from them and warned them not to “make me have to kill you.” The tellers complied and handed Robbins money. Robbins took the money and walked out of the bank, dropping several bills as he departed.

Robbins got into the passenger seat of the Corolla and Soel allegedly drove them away. Nearby law enforcement officers, who had received a report of the bank robbery while it was in progress, pursued the Corolla. Soel allegedly drove into the parking lot of a nearby hotel, where she and Robbins tried to switch places so Robbins could drive. When Soel got out of the Corolla, she tripped and fell, and Robbins drove away without her. Law enforcement officers arrested Soel in the hotel parking lot. Her bank robbery charges are pending.

Robbins drove out of the hotel parking lot but eventually hit a curb, blew a tire, and crashed. Law enforcement officers caught up to the Corolla and arrested Robbins. They recovered U.S. currency sticking out of Robbins’s pants and other cash bills strewn inside the Corolla, along with a fake black handgun. Officers also recovered sunglasses, a bandana, a dark knit cap, and latex gloves from the Corolla, resembling the items Robbins was seen wearing when he robbed the bank. Robbins was wearing a black jacket when he was arrested.

The counts of bank robbery and Hobbs Act robbery with which Robbins is charged each carry a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, with the investigation leading to the charge. He also thanked the Mahwah Township Police Department for its contribution to the case, as well as the police departments of Hanover Township, Parsippany, Hopatcong, Edgewater and Montville.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason S. Gould of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations against Soel are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Suspect Wanted In Multiple Burglaries in Multiple Jurisdictions in Bergen, Passaic and Sussex Counties

Suspect Wanted In Multiple Burglaries in Multiple Jurisdictions in Bergen, Passaic and Sussex Counties

DATE OF CRIME: Various CASE:17-01726, 17-01716
TIME: During the day when people are at work
LOCATION: Multiple locations in multiple towns
IF THEFT WHAT AND VALUE: Multiple items with multiple values. Estimates by the detectives is at least $20,000.00
OFFICER INVESTIGATING: Hopatcong Detective Bureau, Byram Township Detectives, Sussex County Prosecutors Detectives, Sparta Detectives
ADDRESS OF ACCUSED: 4 Henry Street Hopatcong NJ

CHARGES: Either investigations or charges for criminal mischief, Burglary and Theft from Hopatcong, Byram, Wayne, Pompton Lakes, Elmwood Park and Morris Township. Also Possession of hypodermic needles, crack cocaine pipe and heroin.
WAS BAIL SOUGHT: See narrative on the new bail reform law
ANY OTHER INFORMATION: The following information on the arrest of Jason Major is a great example of residents helping their police. It also shows how crimes can be solved when multiple police agencies share information. Without the combined efforts of these agencies and residents from many towns giving us information, this arrest would not have happened so quickly.
Major is accused of committing multiple burglaries in multiple jurisdictions over the last month or so. (See the towns that we know of above). Major would put on a tri color safety vest and pose to be a DPW worker. He would knock on doors and if no one answered he would break in and steal what he could.
Through the help of residents, detectives found that Major was driving a 1990’s green Dodge Pickup with a black ladder rack. Hopatcong Police Detectives found that Major was living in our town at 4 Henry Street. On Friday 02/10/17 with the help of the Hopatcong Detectives, Byram Township Detectives, Sparta Township Detectives and the Sussex County Prosecutors Office, Major was investigated and arrested in Elmwood Park late Friday night. With the assistance of the Elmwood park police, drug paraphernalia, and proceeds from many burglaries were recovered.
Major was charged and released to us by Elmwood Park Police late Friday night. We charged him for two burglaries in Hopatcong. Because of the Elmwood Park charges, we were able to get a high enough score on the new PSA (Public Safety Assessment) to have him lodged in the Sussex County Jail on Saturday morning 2/11/17.
Major was released a few hours later after a court hearing On Sunday 2/12/17, Major was arrested in Morris Township for committing another burglary. He was charged and later released. At this time Major is not incarcerated. There is nothing the Police can do about this because of the new bail reform law. In our efforts to keep the public safe we can only attach Major’s picture to this press release. If you see him on your property or a neighbors, please call 911.
Press release by Lt. Kmetz #34 (973)398-5000
(These charges are merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty)