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Bank Robberies, Shootings Earn Man 30 Years in Prison

Authorities said Jeffrey Garrett, 36, of Trenton pleaded guilty to robbing the same Chase Bank branch in Hamilton Township twice. During the second holdup, he carjacked a car and shot the vehicle's owner and a bank teller, who both survived.

A Mercer County, N.J., man was sentenced today (Feb. 28) to 30 years in prison for robbing the same bank in Hamilton Township twice, carjacking a vehicle and shooting two people, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jeffrey Garrett, 36, of Trenton, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to four counts of an indictment charging him with two armed bank robberies, carjacking, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

Based on documents filed in the case and statements made in court, the following details about Garrett’s crimes were released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Garrett robbed the Chase Bank branch at 1850 Klockner Rd. in Hamilton on Nov. 10, 2010. During that holdup, he handed a teller a note that stated: “I have a gun, give me all the fifty and hundred dollar bills.”

Garrett displayed a black handgun before fleeing with the cash. Surveillance cameras revealed clear images of Garrett, and FBI agents determined that Garrett used his own Visa card at the Chase Bank’s ATM just moments before the robbery. Federal authorities charged Garrett by complaint two days later and obtained an arrest warrant, but Garrett remained at large.

, Garrett robbed the same bank. To get to the bank, he carjacked a vehicle at 5:30 a.m. During the carjacking, Garrett pistol-whipped the victim and the gun discharged, causing the victim a serious head wound. Garrett locked the bleeding victim in the trunk of the car and shortly thereafter bound his hands with cable and threatened his life.

Garrett arrived at the Chase branch on Klockner Road in the stolen vehicle around 10 a.m., after driving around for several hours. He wore a dark baseball cap and sunglasses when he entered the bank. Showing a chrome revolver, he demanded that the teller give him all the money. When she complied, he asked for more money and threatened to shoot her if she turned any keys at her station. The handgun discharged and the teller was shot in the abdomen.

Garrett drove off in the stolen car and it was later found abandoned it in a shopping mall parking lot in Moorestown, N.J., with the bound carjacking victim still locked in the trunk.

Both the car’s owner and the bank teller survived their wounds. Garrett was arrested in Florida on Oct. 17, 2011.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Garrett to five years of supervised release.

Credited with bringing Garrett to justice were special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez; officers of the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief James W. Collins; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of then-Police Director Joseph S. Juniak; and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The government was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

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