By KATHY CHANG
TRENTON — A 33-year-old Barnegat man was sentenced last week to 120 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $22,240 for robbing eight banks, which included three banks in Edison and one in Aberdeen, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Steven Wisnowski previously pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Peter J. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an eight-count superseding information charging him with the bank robberies.
Wisnowski admitted that between Oct. 30, 2013 and Jan. 7, 2014, he robbed eight banks, seven in New Jersey and one in New York, according to documents filed in the case and statements made in court on Jan. 13.
The banks included the PNC Bank in Edison on Oct. 30, 2013; TD Bank, Brick, Nov. 7, 2013; Santander Bank, Brick, Nov. 15, 2013; Ridgewood Savings Bank, Bayside, New York, Nov. 22, 2013; Columbia Bank, Edison, Nov. 27, 2013; TD Bank, Toms River, Dec. 2, 2013; PNC Bank, Aberdeen, Dec. 9, 2013; and Fulton Bank, Edison, Jan. 7, 2014.
Wisnowski used a similar procedure for each robbery by entering the banks wearing hats, hooded jackets and wigs to conceal his identity and approaching the bank tellers demanding money, according to Fishman.
In some instances, Wisnowski allegedly made the tellers believe he was armed and also threatened some tellers with violence.
During the Columbia Bank robbery in Edison, Wisnowski appeared to point something at the teller from under his clothing as if he had a gun. Wisnowski then demanded money stating, “Give me all your hundreds.”
As the teller gathered the money, Wisnowski counted backwards from 10. He then fled with the money.
During the Fulton Bank robbery in Edison, Wisnowski gave a teller a manila envelope and stated, “Give me what I want and nobody gets hurt. I want large bills.”
He then pulled up his sweatshirt as if he had a gun similar to the Columbia Bank robbery. The teller gathered the money and placed it in the envelope and Wisnowski fled.
Law enforcement tracked Wisnowski’s vehicle to the scene of the Fulton Bank robbery.
Officers approached Wisnowski as he exited the bank and ordered him to the ground at gunpoint.
Wisnowski allegedly threw the envelope filled with cash and fled. A short pursuit ensued and law enforcement were able to apprehend him moments later.
In addition to the prison term and payment of restitution, Sheridan sentenced Wisnowski to three years of supervised release.
Fishman praised special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, with the investigation leading to the sentencing.
He also thanked the Edison, Aberdeen, Brick, Toms River and New York City police departments and the Middlesex, Ocean and Monmouth County prosecutors’ offices for their contributions to the case.