The night before three masked men stormed into the Rockland Trust bank on Martha’s Vineyard on Nov. 17, Omar O. Johnson allegedly stayed with Miquel A. Jones in his Edgartown home, and now both men are accused of carrying out the armed robbery, court records show.
On Monday, Johnson, 39, appeared in a Connecticut courthouse, where he agreed to return to Martha’s Vineyard and face charges of armed robbery while masked and conspiracy in Edgartown District Court at an unspecified date. He was arrested in New Haven on Friday night while driving a white Honda CRV with New Hampshire vanity plates with the word PAMPI, according to court records.
Johnson now joins Jones, his sister’s boyfriend, as the first two people charged in the Tisbury robbery, in which three robbers bound bank employees with duct tape and plastic ties and made off cash from the safe, records show.
The thieves, who wore Halloween-style masks of an elderly man, stole a teller’s SUV and abandoned it near a parking lot at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in Edgartown. Video taken by a passing bus showed the stolen car arrive at the lot, helping investigators link Jones and Johnson to the robbery, officials have said.
Soon after the SUV arrived, video shows a 2007 Hyundai Elantra with New Hampshire license plates and a missing hubcap on the driver’s side leave the lot, according to a State Police report. The Elantra is registered to Johnson and Jones allegedly told police that Johnson stayed with him in his Edgartown home the night before the robbery, records show.
Jones, 30, has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the heist and is being held on $300,000 cash bail, records show.
There are other connections between the two men, authorities allege.
Jones was driving the Elantra when stopped by police on Nov 18. A later search of the vehicle turned up three 100-dollar bills, two of which featured sequential serial numbers, as well as white sneakers and dark clothing consistent with that worn by the banks robbers, court records show.
Two other robbery suspects arrived at the Stop and Shop Supermarket near the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven dock, where they parked a silver sedan at 8:57 a.m. The two men used cash to pay for ferry tickets at 9 a.m., returned to the car at 9:02 a.m., and sat inside the car until boarding the 9:21 a.m. ferry, authorities allege.
They left the car in the parking lot. Around 9:53 a.m., Johnson allegedly arrived in the Elantra and made his way to the silver sedan. He allegedly drove it to an authority parking spot for vehicles, bought a ticket, and sailed from the island on the 10:24 a.m. freight ferry in the silver sedan.
Johnson allegedly paid for the ferry trip using a credit card issued in Jones’s name, police allege.
The silver sedan is registered to a Canterbury, N.H., address, authorities allege. It was not known Monday if law enforcement had found that car.
The search for two other people who participated in the robbery is ongoing by the FBI, State Police and police from multiple island police departments, authorities said.