Thursday, March 27, 2014

Man jailed for shoe store robbery 15 years ago celebrated release by robbing the same store

A convicted criminal recently let out of prison allegedly robbed the same store in Toms River, New Jersey that put him there 15 years previously. According to Toms River police, Christopher M. Miller was arrested for stealing the cash register from a Stride Rite shoe store on March 22. He was released from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, N.J. on March 21. The same Stride Rite store was robbed in 1999. Miller, 40, was convicted of that robbery and subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Two store employees told police the suspect entered the store, demanding cash and their cell phones. They say he also demanded they go to the back of the store and hand over their car keys, but they refused those requests before he ran from the store. When the suspect left the store, the two employees ran outside and flagged down a passerby, who called police. Since the man fled the scene on foot, he did not get very far. Police caught a suspect two minutes later, just a few blocks away.

Toms River police Chief Mitchell Little said when they arrested and processed Miller, they realized he was the same man who had robbed the store a decade and a half ago. “He robbed the store, was put away for 15 years, takes a bus from Atlantic City the day he gets released from prison, and goes right back to the same exact store and robs it again,” Little said. Little said police were investigating what prompted Miller allegedly to return to the same store. “We’re wondering was he just not such a smart criminal or did he subconsciously want to get caught.

“And that’s kind of where we’re leaning, that maybe he just couldn’t survive out there on his own and just decided he’s going to go back to the same place where he felt comfortable. He knew Toms River and ended up getting caught again,” Little said. “So now he’ll be going away for another 15 or 20 years.” According to police, Miller has no personal connection to the store, doesn’t know anyone who worked there and has never worked there himself. He has been charged with robbery, and was being held at the Ocean County Jail on $100,000 bail for this latest incident.

With news video.

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