MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – An Essex County man was taken into custody Friday afternoon following a carjacking and attempted bank robbery in Mount Olive Township that was followed by a crash in Randolph Township where he attempted to steal another vehicle, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.
On April 1, Mount Olive police responded to the Walmart parking lot, located in the Flanders section of the township, to assist the South Orange Police Department with an ongoing carjacking investigation, Carroll said.
While on scene, at around 12:04 p.m., police learned of a carjacking that had just taken place from the parking lot. The suspect, later identified as Howard Parks, 54, of East Orange, made a threat to kill the victim during the course of stealing the vehicle, Carroll said.
Then at around 12:24 p.m., Parks attempted a bank robbery that had just occurred at the Wells Fargo Bank also located in Flanders. Parks pretended to possess a firearm and passed a note demanding money. However, he fled the area prior to obtaining any money from the bank, Carroll said.
Then at around 12:33 p.m., after leaving the bank, Parks was involved in a motor vehicle crash near the intersection of Dover-Chester Road and Route 10 in Randolph Township, Carroll said.
The driver of the vehicle involved in this crash sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Carroll said.
Following the crash, Parks attempted to steal another vehicle, but was taken into custody prior to being able to leave the scene, Carroll said.
Parks was charged with first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree carjacking, third-degree receiving stolen property, and disorderly persons assault by auto, in connection with a series of incidents that occurred in Morris County.
The Mount Olive Police Department, the Randolph Township Police Department, the Roxbury Township Police Department, the South Orange Police Department, the West Orange Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit were involved in the investigation.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200.