An Essex County man is in custody and criminally charged in connection with the robbery of a Springfield bank last month, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Springfield Police Chief John Cook jointly announced Saturday.
David R. Vaughan, 69, of Newark is charged with first-degree armed robbery, third-degree theft, and fourth-degree possession of an imitation firearm.
The case began, on the morning of Monday, March 23, when a man wearing a white face mask entered a Bank of America branch located on the 100 block of Morris Avenue, approached a teller with a black handgun produced from a backpack, and demanded money before fleeing the scene in a Toyota Corolla. Members of the Springfield Police Department arrived shortly afterwards, called to the scene by an activated alarm.
An investigation, led by detectives from the Springfield Police Department and assisted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, identified Vaughan as a suspect, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sheets, who is prosecuting the case. Ultimately investigators were able to obtain a search warrant for Vaughan’s apartment, which is located on Keer Avenue in Newark, and execution of the warrant uncovered evidence tying Vaughan to the robbery, including distinctive clothing and a replica handgun matching the weapon used.
Following Vaughan’s arrest, Ruotolo offered her congratulations to Springfield Police Chief Cook and his Department and noted that “It is a testament to the strength of the relationship between the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the Springfield Police Department that, even during these trying times, our offices were able to collaborate to bring this investigation to a successful end.”
“I am not surprised by the tireless diligence that Detective Sergeant James Mirabile and the members of the Detective Bureau put into this investigation, but I am more than proud of the professionalism and manner in which they handled, identified, and ultimately arrested a serious threat to all of our communities,” Chief Cook added. “This was an outstanding example of great police work, and excellent collaboration between the Springfield Police and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Following his arrest, Vaughan was lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court.
Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison. These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.