Timothy Simmons, suspect who remains at large. Photo provided by Paterson Police Department
Police are still trying to identify the fifth suspect in the ring, whose photo was captured by a security camera
Troy Bess Photo provided by Paterson Police Department
Richard Lawson Photo provided by Paterson Police Department
Devane Quick Photo provided by Paterson Police Department
Caught! Police Arrest Three Men in Connection with Robbery Spree; Authorities Looking for Two More Suspects
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 • 3:00pm
PATERSON, NJ – Two days after Paterson police released security photos depicting suspects in a string of armed robberies at city groceries and liquor stores, the culprits struck again, according to authorities. They held up the Liquor Gallery at 459 McBride Avenue on Sunday night, according to authorities.
But that may turn out to be their last job.
On Monday and Tuesday, city police arrested three suspects – Devane Quick, Troy Bess, and Richard Lawson - in the robberies and issued a warrant for a fourth man, Timothy Simmons. Police are still trying to identify the fifth member of the ring, a man whose face was captured on a store security camera.
The young men, who come from the same 1st Ward neighborhood, have been charged with six counts of armed robbery in a series of crimes that started on January 1 and continued for almost two weeks. They allegedly knocked off stores in five different city wards. Only the 3rd Ward was missing from among their targets. They are accused of robbing the 7-Eleven on Ryerson Avenue, El Eden Liquor on Straight Street, Montclair Deli on Montclair Avenue, Economy Liquors on 5th Avenue, Maria’s Grocery on Main Street and Liquor Galley on McBride Avenue.
“It was a cumulative thing,’’ said Capt. Heriberto Rodriguez when asked what lead authorities to identify the four men. “Every robbery gave us one more little detail. And then it was just old-fashioned detective work, following leads, going through pictures. The guys put a lot of time into this.’’
Bess, a 22-year-old from Ryerson Avenue, was arrested when he came to police headquarters for questioning on Monday, Rodriguez said. Quick, who is 23, was arrested while hiding in the back seat of a car parked near his home at the Angela Place projects, police said. Lawson, a 20-year-old who lives on Colonial Avenue, turned himself in on Tuesday, according to police. Still at large is Simmons, a 23-year-old whose address police said is 6-7 Angela Place.
In addition to the robbery charges, they also have been accused of weapons offenses and conspiracy to commit robbery. In all six incidents, police said two suspects entered the store and took the money from the cash register at gunpoint. Rodriguez declined to explain exactly what roles the five men played in the crimes and whether some of them were driving the getaway car or acting as lookouts as others went inside the stores.
Rodriguez credited Police Director Glenn Brown and acting Police Chief William Fraher for giving the detectives all the support they needed to break the case. Rodriguez said other parts of the police department, like the patrol division, also pitched in and helped with the investigation.
“It’s not just one individual who should take credit for this,’’ said the captain.