Arrest in $300k armored car robbery

Money still missing
October 1, 2008 5:45:39 PM PDT
An armored-car company worker was held on a half-million dollars bail Wednesday after he was charged with robbing a co-worker of $330,000 during a daring daylight heist. The money has not been recovered. Several photographs of the face of the robber taken by a security camera at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday at an M&T Bank branch were inconclusive, but there was strong circumstantial evidence to link Robert Blackmon to the crime, U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton said.

The judge studied the photographs carefully at a bail hearing, asking Blackmon to turn his head to the right so he could compare his face at the same angle as a picture.

Blackmon, 34, was arrested Tuesday night at the Hillside, N.J., home he shares with his mother and her boyfriend after employees of Dunbar Armored, where he has worked for nine months, identified him as the robber depicted in the surveillance photographs wearing a baseball cap and a hood, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Mole said.

Blackmon had asked his employer on Monday to let him take Tuesday off so he could renew his driver's license even though he had gotten his license the day before, Mole said.

He was waiting by the automated teller machines in the vestibule of the bank when one of his co-workers entered to drop off the money, Mole said.

He grabbed the woman from behind, put his arm around her chest and took her gun, Mole said. When the woman dropped the nylon bag of money, he snatched the bag, tossed the gun in it and fled, she said.

"He drove this route," Mole said. "He knew this carrier, and he knew this specific route."

Defense lawyer Philip Weinstein said there was insufficient evidence to arrest Blackmon.

"You'd have to be fairly stupid to rob someone who knew you without a mask," Weinstein said. "It is not an open and shut case. I don't think it's a slam dunk."

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