A Saddle Brook man has been given a 7 year prison sentence for robbing a bank. William Petrucelli a 26 year old who robbed the Spencer Savings Bank in his town of $4,200 to help his heroin addiction. Judge Susan J. Steele imposed the seven year sentence, even though it was less than the states recommended 8 years. While he said he is on the road to recovery with his heroin addiction, he has had a criminal history since the age of 11. He has had multiple convictions for narcotics, theft and burglary, and pled guilty in July to a robbery charge in the 1st degree. When he approached the bank teller he said I have a gun. Give me all the money. While he said that he had a gun both of his hands were placed on the counter so it became clear he did not have a weapon on his person. William then went to Paterson to buy heroin with his stolen money, and then he went to a hotel to use. When his mother caught wind of the bank robbery she contacted police and together they found him.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 which is robbery, and involves the threatening of another, and inflicts bodily injury on another in the attempt of a theft. It is a crime of the 2nd degree, but it becomes a crime of the 1st degree when, the robber attempts to kill someone, purposefully inflicts or attempts to hurt someone, and is armed with, threatens, or uses a deadly weapon. A person if found guilty of a crime of the 1st degree, will be looking at a New Jersey State Prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
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