Following an unusual sequence of events, a Trenton man was arrested earlier this week for allegedly trying to rob a Lawrence Township bank.
Detective Sgt. Joseph Amodio said township police received a call at 1:51 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 4) from staff at the PNC Bank branch in the 1500 block of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) reporting that there was a “suspicious male” in the bank.
The man – later identified by police as Patrick Smith, 38, of Ewing Street, Trenton – had visited the bank earlier in the day, about 9 a.m., police were told. During that visit, bank staff alleged, Smith approached a teller and showed her a bank slip upon which was written the word “gun” and the figure “$100,” according to Amodio.
The teller did not give Smith any money and Smith, taking the note with him, quietly left the bank, Amodio said. He said the bank staff did not notify police of the incident at the time, but instead reported it to PNC Bank security officials.
But when Smith returned to the bank later in the day, staff grew concerned and immediately called police, Amodio said.
While in the bank that second time, Smith did not approach the teller counter. He instead poured himself a cup of coffee and then left, Amodio said, noting that police detained Smith after he exited the bank.
No weapon was ever displayed during either of Smith’s visits to the bank, but based on the statements provided by bank staff and police investigation, Smith was arrested on a robbery charge, Amodio said.
He said the investigation is continuing by Detective James Smith and Officer Suzanne Girard, with the assistance of the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Anyone with information that might aid the investigation is asked to call township police at (609) 896-1111.