Law enforcement authorities have nabbed a suspected bank robber, with the help of readers who recognized the man in photos, police said.
Kevin B. Schear, 34, was arrested without incident as he came out of his Jackson home in the first block of Rhode Island Drive in the afternoon of Nov. 17, according to Lakewood Detective Lt. Paul Daly.
Two weeks ago, the FBI and local police asked the public for help in identifying the man who pulled off heists at the Sovereign Bank on Madison Avenue in Lakewood on Sept. 15; the Wachovia Bank on Route 9 in Howell on Sept. 27; and a failed robbery attempt at The Bank on East Kennedy Boulevard in Lakewood on Sept. 20.
Tips came into the FBI offices in Newark and the bandittrackernortheast.com website that led police to set up surveillance at Schear's home on the afternoon they made the arrest, according to FBI Special Agent Bryan L. Travers.
"He was captured because of the media coverage," Travers said.
Lakewood detectives and police, with the help of FBI agents and police from Jackson and Howell, arrested Schear without incident, Daly said.
Schear is charged with the Sept. 15 robbery where he handed a note to a teller the read, "I have multiple guns. Give me all the money," Travers explained.
"This is not a joke," Schear told the teller, after handing her the note, authorities said.
Schear got away with $2,255, Daly said.
He has been remanded to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River on $250,000 full cash bail.
Schear, who has used the alias Robert Garne, has spent two stints in state prison. He was last released from custody on Nov. 17, 2005, after serving six months of a three-year term in state prison, and previously served nearly nine months in state prison in 2004. Charges in those cases included theft, drug possession and driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to state prison records.
Police continue to investigate the Sept. 20 attempted robbery in Lakewood and the Sept. 27 robbery Howell, along with a Nov. 10 robbery of the Garden State Community Bank in Howell.
Anyone with information should contact either FBI Special agent Bruce Kamerman at 973-792-3000; Monmouth Prosecutor's Office Detective Delisa Brazile at 800-533-7443; Howell police Detective Nancy Carroll at 732-938-4575, ext. 2884; or Lakewood police Detective Stephen Wexler at 732-363-0200, ext. 5344.