Newark pair charged in connection with Springfield bank robbery

UNION COUNTY — A Newark man and woman arrested late last week and charged in connection with a bank robbery in Parsippany-Troy Hills have been additionally charged with being responsible for a recent bank robbery in Springfield, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park announced today.

Quiama S. Harris, 29, and Avery Spotswood, 33, are being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility following a joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Springfield Police Department, and the Newark office of the FBI.

Spotswood is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree conspiracy, and a third-degree charge of making terroristic threats; Harris is charged with two counts of second-degree conspiracy.

At approximately 1:36 p.m. on Dec. 23, a man later identified as Spotswood allegedly entered the Santander Bank at 239 Littleton Road in Parsippany-Troy Hills and handed a teller a note demanding money and indicating that he was in possession of an explosive device, according to the investigation.

The teller complied with the demand, and Spotswood fled the area on foot with an undisclosed quantity of cash.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Detective Joseph Puso subsequently issued a notification to all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey describing the robbery, including the contents of the note and still images of the male suspect.

Springfield Detective Sergeant Stephen Studlack and Springfield Detective James Mirabile originally reviewed surveillance photos from areas surrounding the Springfield bank robbery. This included photos of a vehicle belonging to Harris.

After the detectives learned of the similar bank robbery taking place in Parsippany, the shared information found the same male had entered both banks using a note threatening the possession of a bomb to steal money and in the Parsippany crime Harris was also observed at the bank.

The subsequent investigation determined that Spotswood and Harris allegedly worked collaboratively to plan and carry out both robberies. They were arrested without incident, with bail for Spotswood and Harris set at $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The tentative court date for the two in Union County Superior Court has been set for Jan. 8.

Anyone with information relating to either bank robbery is being urged to contact the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department at 973-263-4300 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

As both subjects were also charged with the Parsippany bank robbery and
were incarcerated in the Morris County Jail the tentative court date for the
two in Union County Superior Court has been set for 01/08/2014.