NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE
ARREST OF TWO INDIVIDUALS FOR IMPERSONATING STATE TROOPERS AND ROBBING
Joint Investigation Tracking Potential Victims
Bellmawr - Camden County
Prosecutor Lee A. Solomon, Chief Robert E. Allenbach of the Camden
City Police Department, Captain Richard E. Gilbert, State Police
Troop A Commander and Lt. Michael Siegelski, Station Commander,
State Police Bellmawr Station, today announced the arrest of two
Camden City men on charges stemming from their alleged activities
involving the impersonation of New Jersey state troopers.
The defendants are identified
as Harry Dawes, 37, of 529 Jackson St., Camden and Albert Lopez,
34, of 153 Pfeiffer St., Camden. Both individuals have been charged
with armed robbery, theft and impersonating a New Jersey state trooper
and both remain in custody in the Camden County Jail in lieu of
According to Capt. Gilbert,
Prosecutor Solomon and Chief Allenbach, the investigation got underway
on Nov. 9 when a Camden resident appeared at the State Police Bellmawr
Station requesting information regarding the return of U.S. currency
allegedly seized by a state trooper while conducting an investigation
in Camden City. Initial information provided by the Camden City
resident alerted the State Police of the possible impersonation
of a state trooper by an unauthorized person and the robbery of
the victim. The citizen inquiry then became the catalyst for a joint
agency investigation by the State Police, Camden City Police Department
and the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
to the joint agency investigation developed information from various
sources - information which served to "paint a picture"
of the two individuals posing as so-called plainclothes New Jersey
state troopers in and around Camden City. The "modus operandi"
as described by victims of the alleged impersonators was that two
armed white males would approach the citizen, briefly "flash"
law enforcement badges and identify themselves as state troopers.
The purported law enforcement officers would then "confiscate"
cash, valuables and illegal narcotics from the victims.
leads were pursued that resulted in detailed physical descriptions
of the wanted subjects. The principal subject, subsequently identified
as Albert Lopez, was described as 5'10" in height, weighing
approximately 250 lbs. with a shaved head and blue eyes. The second
subject, subsequently identified as Harry Dawes, was described as
5'7" tall, weighing approximately 160 lbs. with short brown
hair and brown eyes. A significant feature of the Dawes description
was that his left pinky and ring finger were missing or amputated.
Photo lineups, victim information and investigation details ultimately
identified Lopez as a principal suspect. Additional information
provided by victims, combined with investigative leads developed
by the assigned detectives, led to the identification of a suspect
vehicle - a 1991 white Chevrolet Caprice.
On Fri., Nov. 23, detectives
began a surveillance at 153 Pfeiffer Street in Camden. The two subjects
were observed leaving the residence and entering the suspect vehicle.
The surveillance followed the suspects into Lower Southampton Township,
Bucks County, PA, where they were stopped by uniformed officers
from the Southampton Police Department as they traveled on Bridgeton
Pike near the Old Bristol Road. State Police detectives confirmed
the identification of the suspects and both Lopez and Dawes agreed
to return to the Camden City Police Department where they were charged
with the criminal violations.
A search of the 1991 Chevrolet
Caprice uncovered a State Police windbreaker, two "Fugitive
Recovery Agent" badges, two sets of handcuffs, two flashlights,
one red flashing emergency light, a hand-held police scanner and
additional items of evidence.
Additional information developed
by the investigation determined that the defendants may have robbed
at least 70 individuals - as many as nine to 10 people a day on
at least seven different days in the Camden City area. State Police
and Camden P.D. detectives believe that there are a significant
number of individuals who have been victimized and encourage anyone
who may have been approached and robbed by the bogus law enforcement
officers to contact the New Jersey State Police Bellmawr Station,
the Camden Police Department or the Camden County Prosecutor's Office
to report the crime.
The investigation was coordinated
by State Police DSG Jay Pennypacker. DSG Jeffrey Frampton and Det.
Wayne Matthews of the Camden Police Department, along with Investigator
James Bruno of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office provided expertise
and resources to the investigation. Tpr. I Mark J. Wilhelm and Tpr.
II Eric J. Hubbs of the Bellmawr Station also assisted in the investigation.
The investigation remains
active and ongoing and will be submitted to a Camden County Grand
Jury by Prosecutor Solomon's office for review and potential indictment.
Additional charges may be filed by the State Police. Persons with
information related to the investigation are encouraged to contact
DSG Jay Pennypacker at the New Jersey State Police Bellmawr Station
at (856) 933-0662, DSG Jeffrey Frampton of the Camden Police Department
at (856) 757-7432 or Camden County Prosecutor's Office investigator
James Bruno at (856) 225-8400.
All charges are allegations
only. The defendants are presumed innocent until or unless proven
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