Authorities arrested a 22-year-old Camden man implicated in five bank robberies across the area, including one in Maple Shade, as he was coming out of his girlfriend’s home Tuesday, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office reported.
Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi said Brandon A. Dickerson, of the 1100 block of Mechanic Street, Camden, has been charged with five counts of robbery (second degree) after he allegedly pulled off a string of bank heists across Burlington County, and one in Haddonfield.
Bank robberies are notoriously hard cases to solve, Bernardi explained during a press conference Wednesday, because there’s usually little forensic evidence to go on and the perpetrators are typically disguised in some way. Dickerson allegedly concealed his face by wearing a hoodie and either a mask, a scarf or sunglasses in all of the robberies.
“I would defy anyone to be able to say who that is,” Bernardi said, gesturing toward a surveillance photo taken during one of the robberies. “These individuals know there are cameras in the bank. They know where they’re placed. Many times they’ll go in and probably case the bank out.”
Dickerson had already struck two banks—Cornerstone Bank in Burlington City and TD Bank in Mount Holly—when he entered the Roma Bank on Main Street in Maple Shade and handed the teller a note demanding cash, authorities said.
Investigators were able to lift a fingerprint from the note, and after running it through a database, identified Dickerson as the suspect.
Authorities began surveilling a couple locations where they believed Dickerson might turn up, and on Tuesday Edgewater Park Police took him into custody without incident outside his girlfriend’s home, Bernardi said. He was also wanted on a warrant out of Mount Holly for failure to appear in municipal court on a simple assault charge.
Dickerson now faces five counts of robbery and potentially up to 40 years in prison.
In addition to the abovementioned robberies, Dickerson is accused of robbing the Roma Bank on Broad Street in Florence on Dec. 3 and the PNC Bank on North Haddon Avenue in Haddonfield on Monday, Dec. 9. He allegedly made off with approximately $9,250 between all five robberies, authorities said. An undisclosed amount of cash was recovered following his arrest.
“We believe (the crimes were) motivated just by a desire to get some money to take care of his family, his girlfriend, etc.,” said Bernardi. “They’re not substantial amounts, but enough to buy some presents for under the Christmas tree.”
Authorities did not recover any weapons belonging to Dickerson and don’t believe he used a weapon during the commission of any of the robberies, though in some of the cases his notes threatened that he had a gun, Bernardi said.
The prosecutor said the investigation is ongoing, and authorities believe a second individual may have been involved in providing transportation for Dickerson to and from the scenes of the crimes.
Burlington County has been plagued with an alarmingly high number of bank robberies in the last two months. There have been 20 bank robberies in the county since Jan. 1, with 15 occurring just since Oct. 25, Bernardi said.
There have been several bank robberies in Mount Laurel in that span:
On Oct. 25, a masked man briefly took a PNC Bank customer hostage and threatened to shoot him unless bank employees handed over cash.
Authorities are also searching for two men involved in a pair of bank robberies at PNC and Beneficial banks on Nov. 29.
Bernardi said he has a “high level of confidence” in the authorities’ ability to track down the perpetrators of these other bank robberies.
“We have active suspects in other investigations,” he said Wednesday. “All criminals make mistakes. People also talk. They talk with their confederates, their friends. They brag. They go on Facebook. And they do stupid things that allow them to get caught.
“I’ll be standing here again announcing their names if they want to engage in this kind of criminal activity.”All information provided by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.