FREEHOLD – An Ocean County man has been arrested and charged with committing a daytime robbery of a West Long Branch check-cashing business that netted $700,000, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Friday.
Travis A. Bryant, 41, of Jackson is charged with first-degree Robbery, second-degree Burglary, and fourth-degree Possession of an Imitation Handgun.
At approximately 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2017, members of the West Long Branch Police Department responded to the check-cashing business on Route 36 on a report of a silent alarm activation. At that location, officers found a lone employee, who advised that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt pulled tightly around his face and sunglasses had just robbed the store of a large quantity of cash.
It was quickly determined that the man had entered the store when no customers were present and used a ladder to access and climb through ceiling ducts in order to access a secured, employees-only area of the business where cash was stored. After falling through the ceiling, Bryant reportedly approached the store employee, indicating that he was in possession of a weapon, and ordered her into the store bathroom while he made off with her purse, cell phone, and approximately $700,000 in cash, driving away in a van.
An intensive, long-term investigation by members of the West Long Branch Police Department and a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in Bryant being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested without incident yesterday and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.
This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner, Director of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, members of which assisted in the investigation. Information on Bryant’s legal representation was not immediately available.
Convictions on first-degree crimes are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.