Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a 38-year-old Browns Mills man has been found guilty of first-degree Robbery for walking into a Pemberton Borough bank in the summer of 2019, announcing he had a gun, and demanding money from the tellers.
After deliberating for approximately two and a half hours, a Superior Court jury returned the verdict against Cortney Bell on January 31 in a Mount Holly courtroom. The Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for April 21.
The investigation began the morning of July 23, 2019, after officers from the Pemberton Borough Police Department and troopers from the New Jersey State Police were called to the TD Bank on Elizabeth Street for a report of a robbery.
Upon arrival, employees and customers indicated a man came into the bank wearing a hooded sweatshirt, bandana, sunglasses and dirty sweat socks on his hands. He approached a teller with his hand in his pocket pointing toward her, saying he had a gun. He threatened to start shooting the tellers unless they provided him with money.
The investigation revealed that the bandit was given a few bundles of cash, which he dropped on the floor while attempting to exit the bank. As he was picking up the fallen currency, a Corona Light beer bottle fell out of his pocket. He fled the bank with $600.
Investigators took the bottle to the New Jersey State Police Central Regional Laboratory, where forensic scientists were able to obtain a DNA sample that was ultimately matched to Bell. He was charged with the bank robbery in December 2020. The warrant was served to him in the Burlington County Jail, where he was awaiting trial for a separate offense.
The investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police, with assistance from the Pemberton Borough Police Department. Bell is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Rachel M. Conte.