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TD Bank robber nabbed
Local man arrested by HPD minutes after leaving the bank

 

by Gabe Donio, Gazette Staff Writer

 

HAMMONTON—Lt. Mark Fiorentino and Officer Donald Kunen were able to pull over a bank robber minutes after he stole thousands of dollars from TD Bank on the White Horse Pike (Route 30) at 4:40 p.m. on April 11, Hammonton Police Captain Nick Salvatore said. Michael Hetzel, 41, of Hammonton was arrested and charged with robbery, theft and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Salvatore said. He was placed in Atlantic County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail set by Hammonton Municipal Judge Frank Raso, Salvatore said.
Several thousand dollars was stolen, all of which was recovered, Salvatore said.
Quick communication throughout the town was the key to the swift capture and arrest of Hetzel, Salvatore said. According to Salvatore, TD Bank was not the first bank Hetzel entered on April 11.
“Prior to the bank robbery call, at 4:07 p.m. on April 11, we received a call from Sun Bank asking us to send an officer right away about a suspicious person. At 4:30, Susquehanna Bank made a similar call. They called us and started calling the other banks. Both banks felt this person fit the profile of someone who wasn’t right, and Susquehanna Bank called TD Bank at 4:40 p.m. Ironically the robber was robbing the bank when the call came in from Susquehanna Bank about the suspicious person to another woman working in the bank. At the same time, a man from the bank was calling us on 911 reporting the bank robbery,” Salvatore said.
After Hetzel left the bank, another employee was able to watch him because she was outside the bank in her car on a break, Salvatore said.
“Another employee was on a break and saw the commotion, and watched his exit, his change of clothes and described the van he drove. He ran to the back and headed to the Walmart parking lot. She called into the bank and spoke to another female employee of the bank, who gave that information to the man on the phone with us. If she hadn’t done that, and there wasn’t that team effort, we would have had a much tougher time apprehending him and retrieving the money,” Salvatore said.
Hetzel was apprehended by Fiorentino and Kunen, who stopped his vehicle at the intersection of Route 206 and the Middle Road access road from Route 206 behind the Rite Aid, Salvatore said. He was driving an xfinity cable van, which was not a stolen vehicle, Salvatore said.
According to Salvatore, Hetzel had a small semi-automatic handgun on him when he was apprehended by the officers.
Salvatore said the investigation was conducted in conjunction with the local FBI office.