Sheriff’s Office arrests four for armored car robbery

NEWARK, NJ — Four New Jersey suspects have been arrested and charged with an armored car robbery that occurred in Abington, Pa., on Oct. 9 and resulted in $380,000 in losses. The arrests came as the result of an operation by a law enforcement task force comprising detectives from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, members of the U.S. Marshal’s Office, officers from the New Jersey State Police, and additional state and local law enforcement agencies, according to a Nov. 27 release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura said the arrests were part of a monthlong operation by the task force after it was discovered that the suspects were New Jersey residents and had open warrants in Essex County.

“In addition to the armored car robbery, pending charges include the theft of over $70,000 in jewelry from Florida, the possession of four semi-automatic handguns and over $15,000 in illegal narcotics, and the theft of more than $5,000 in Apple products,” Fontoura said. “After the robbery, officers from Abington, Pa., worked in conjunction with our office to help us conclude the three suspects responsible were Alberto Torres, 37 of Newark; Christopher Flores, 35, of Newark; and Michael Vazquez, 38, of Puerto Rico.”

Three separate sting operations were performed during the course of this investigation in order to arrest the three male suspects. Additionally a female suspect, Gianna Sanchez, 21, of Elizabeth, was arrested on a weapons possession charge.

“We express our profound gratitude to the numerous law enforcement agencies that assisted us in this lengthy, yet most productive, investigation,” Fontoura said. “The investigation was complicated, but it’s a testament to the training, talent and abilities of these fine officers.”

All four suspects were booked and transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility, where they await further court appearances and other pending charges.

These charges are merely accusations; all defendants are considered innocent unless or until they are found guilty in a court of law.