TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man today admitted robbing eight banks in New Jersey and New York, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Steven Wisnowski, 32, of Barnegat, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter J. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an eight-count superseding information charging him with the bank robberies.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Wisnowski admitted that between Oct. 30, 2013 and Jan. 7, 2014, he went on a crime spree and robbed eight banks, seven of which were in New Jersey, and one of which was in New York:
Oct. 30, 2013
Nov. 7, 2013
Nov. 15, 2013
Ridgewood Savings Bank
Nov. 22, 2013
Nov. 27, 2013
Dec. 2, 2013
Dec. 9, 2013
Jan. 7, 2014
Wisnowski used a similar procedure for each robbery: he entered the banks wearing hats, hooded jackets, and wigs to conceal his identity, approached the bank tellers, and demanded money. In some instances, Wisnowski made the tellers believe he was armed and also threatened some tellers with violence.
During the Columbia Bank robbery, Wisnowski appeared to point something at the teller from under his clothing, as if he had a gun. Wisnowski then demanded money, stating: “Give me all your hundreds.” As the teller gathered the money, Wisnowski counted backwards from 10. He then fled with the money.
During the Fulton Bank robbery, Wisnowski gave a teller a manila envelope and stated, “Give me what I want and nobody gets hurt. I want large bills.” He then pulled up his sweatshirt as if he had a gun. The teller gathered the money and placed it in the envelope, after which Wisnowski fled.
Law enforcement tracked Wisnowski’s vehicle to the scene of the Fulton Bank robbery. Officers approached Wisnowski as he exited the bank and ordered him to the ground at gunpoint. Wisnowski threw the envelope filled with cash and fled. Law enforcement officers pursued Wisnowski and apprehended him moments later.
The bank robbery charges to which Wisnowski pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 11, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Edison, Aberdeen, Brick, Toms River, and New York City police departments, and the Middlesex, Ocean, and Monmouth County prosecutors’ offices for their contributions to the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamari Buxton of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Chester Keller Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark