CAMDEN, N.J. – A Virginia man was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for robbing four banks – two in New Jersey and two in Baltimore, Maryland – during a spree in December 2016, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Bruce Wayne Higgins, 43, of Herndon, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Renée Marie Bumb to a four-count information charging him with robbing: (1) Dec. 10, 2016 – Howard Bank in Baltimore; (2) Dec. 13, 2016 — Northwest Bank in Baltimore; (3) Dec.15, 2016 – TD Bank N.A. in Ocean City, New Jersey; and (4) Dec. 16, 2016 – Wells Fargo Bank in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Judge Bumb imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Dec. 15, 2016, a man entered a TD Bank in Ocean City and presented a teller with a note that read: “GUN IN Pocket, MONEY NOW or –BANG-.” He then took cash from the teller and fled on foot. Law enforcement officers issued a bulletin with a bank surveillance photograph. The robber was later identified as Higgins.
Through coordination with the FBI in Baltimore, Maryland, New Jersey agents learned that a robber with a similar physical description had robbed two banks and a business earlier that week in Baltimore.
On Dec. 16, 2017, a man fitting Higgins’ description walked into a TD Bank in Atlantic City. After recognizing Higgins from the police bulletin, a bank employee triggered the bank’s “hold-up” alarm, and Higgins left the bank and got into a taxicab. Officers from the Atlantic City Police Department (ACPD) arrived at the TD Bank and, following up on information provided by witnesses, issued a bulletin describing the taxicab’s number and direction of travel.
Having received the bulletin describing the taxicab, another ACPD officer located the taxicab near a Wells Fargo Bank in Atlantic City while Higgins was allegedly in the process of robbing that bank. Higgins entered the Wells Fargo Bank and presented a teller with a note that read, “Gun in Pocket, Money Now or Bang now.” After Higgins took the money and fled the bank, ACPD officers arrested him.
Higgins admitted to robbing two banks and a business in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the two New Jersey banks. During each of the bank robberies, Higgins threatened the bank’s employees and fled.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Higgins to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $23,390.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark and Special Agent in Charge Gordon Johnson in Baltimore; the Ocean City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Chad Callahan; the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Henry White; the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor; the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Damon Tyner; the Baltimore County Police, under the direction of Chief Terrance Gordon; and the Fairfax County Police, under the direction of Chief of Police Col., Edwin C. Roessler Jr., with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
Defense Counsel: Maggie F. Moy Esq. Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden