Law Enforcement Investigating Armed Robbery in Montville Township

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Montville Township Police Chief Rudy Appelmann announce an active investigation into an armed robbery that occurred on Sunday, November 26, 2017 in Montville Township, New Jersey.

On November 26, 2017 at approximately 10:30 p.m., law enforcement officers were dispatched to the Raceway Gas Station, located on Route 46 East in Pine Brook, for a report of an armed robbery. The clerk reported a man walked into the store, pointed a handgun at him and demanded money. The clerk gave the man money from the register, and the man left the store and got into a vehicle in the area of Chapin Road.

The assailant was described as a heavyset white male, about 40 to 50 years of age, with grey hair, glasses and a grey hat. The assailant fled in a silver, foreign-type car.

Still images of the suspect are attached below.

Law Enforcement Investigating Armed Robbery in Montville Township

Law Enforcement Investigating Armed Robbery in Montville Township

Law Enforcement Investigating Armed Robbery in Montville Township

Numerous law enforcement agencies are currently investigating this incident, including the Montville Township Police Department, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office – Major Crimes Unit, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information about this incident, including the identity of this assailant, is asked to call the Montville Township Police Department at 973-257-4300, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office – Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200, or Crimestoppers at 973-267-2255.

Arrest Made in Church Vandalism

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Investigations John R. Speirs, Morristown Police Chief Peter Demnitz, and Morris Township Police Chief Mark DiCarlo announce that an arrest has been made in relation to the acts of vandalism at several Morristown and Morris Township Churches.

Zuri C. Towns, age 45 of Morristown, New Jersey was identified as the person allegedly responsible for these acts and was arrested by police detectives today. Mr. Towns provided a statement to police confirming his involvement in these incidents and confirmed that he acted alone. The defendant previously attended services at one of the vandalized churches as a minor.

Detectives were led to the defendant as a result of video obtained from one of the vandalized churches. Possessing his personal description and that of his clothing, police were able to identify the defendant this morning near his residence, which is in close proximity to several of the churches.

Mr. Towns was charged with four counts of criminal mischief in the 4th degree and one count of criminal mischief in the 3rd degree. As a result of the investigation, no evidence was obtained that would indicate this was a bias incident which legally requires purpose to intimidate a person or group based upon their protected class. Mr. Towns was served with summons complaints pending a court appearance.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the Morristown and Morris Township Police Departments for their role in this investigation along with members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in arresting the defendant today. The Prosecutor also extends his thanks to members of the local clergy, especially Pastor Robert Rogers and Pastor Craig Dunn, for their assistance.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be addressed to First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas A. Zelante at [email protected] or 973-285-6252

Law Enforcement Authorities Investigating Property Damages at Local Houses of Worship

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Investigations John R. Speirs, Morristown Police Chief Peter Demnitz, and Morris Township Police Chief Mark DiCarlo announce that on Saturday, November 25th, 2017, the Morristown Police Department and the Morris Township Police Department received calls from local churches indicating that they had been the victims of vandalism during the overnight hours. The churches are identified as follows:

• Church of God in Christ for All Saints, 3 Rowe Street, Morristown
• Bethel A.M.E. Church, 59 Spring Street, Morristown
• Calvary Baptist Church, 10 Martin Luther King Avenue, Morristown
• Union Baptist Church, 89 Spring Street, Morristown
• Morristown Church of Christ, 265 Martin Luther King Avenue, Morris Township

The vandalism was limited to property damage including a broken stained glass window and broken or damaged exterior signs. The incidents are being treated as a possible Bias Crime, however the investigation is currently active and no further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Bias Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200, the Morristown Police at 973-538-2200, or Morris Township Police at 973-539-0777. Tips can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 973-COP-CALL (973-267-2255), or going online to http://www.morriscrimestoppers.org.

Police will be increasing their presence at all local churches to ensure the continued safety of all community members, however we ask that people remain vigilant and call police if any suspicious activity is observed.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at (973) 285-6200.