HOAX: ROBBERY NEAR BANK WAS A SETUP, SAY COPS

After an extensive investigation by the Middle Township Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, two arrests have been made regarding the reported robbery on July 20, 2010 at the Bank of America located in Rio Grande, NJ.

As a result of this investigation, it was learned that an assistant manager of Frank’s Movie Theaters of Rio Grande, identified as MATTHEW A. LECHNER, 20 years old, of Wildwood Crest, NJ conspired with his friend, identified as VINCENT “GINO” PIETROPAOLI, 20 years old, also of Wildwood Crest, NJ, to report to police a false report that Lechner had been robbed at the Bank of America in Rio Grande, while making a cash deposit of money belonging to Frank’s Movie Theater.

It was further revealed that Pietropaoli, approached Lechner while he was making the deposit of money into the bank vault and pretended to assault and rob him, running from the area with the bank bag full of money.  All the money stolen was recovered.

Both Pietropaoli and Lechner were charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, each crimes of the third degree.  Both were incarcerated in the Cape May County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Additional charges are pending against the two defendants.

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