Armed bank robbery suspect pleads guilty

According to a press release, David Carpenter pleaded guilty today to the knifepoint robbery of a Beneficial Savings Bank in Tabernacle, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Carpenter, 20, of Medford, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of armed bank robbery before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court.

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According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On December 2, 2010, Carpenter entered the Beneficial Savings Bank in Tabernacle wearing a black sweatshirt and ski mask, and brandishing a long, metal steak knife. Once inside the bank, Carpenter vaulted the teller counter, placed the blade of the knife to the throat of a bank teller, and demanded money. Another bank teller handed a white plastic bag of bills to Carpenter, who then fled the bank.

Once outside, Carpenter approached a Honda Civic parked in front of the bank. Unable to start the car, Carpenter attempted to re-enter the bank, but bank employees had locked the doors behind him. Law enforcement officers later determined that Carpenter had dropped the keys to the car inside the bank as he vaulted the counter.

Carpenter then fled into a wooded area near the bank. A short time later, an area resident called 911 to report that a male was knocking on her back door asking the resident if he could use the phone, claiming he was looking for his lost dog. Troopers from the New Jersey State Police responded and placed Carpenter under arrest.

The charge to which Carpenter pleaded guilty carries a maximum statutory penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is currently scheduled for September 23.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent, with the investigation that resulted in today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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