Two Virginians charged for home invasion robbery in Monmouth County armed with AK-47

1 min read
A pair of Virginia residents have been arrested and charged with conspiring to orchestrate an armed home invasion and robbery in Marlboro Township earlier this fall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.
A pair of Virginia residents have been arrested and charged with conspiring to orchestrate an armed home invasion and robbery in Marlboro Township earlier this fall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.

MARLBORO, NJ – Two Virginia residents were arrested and charged for an armed home invasion and robbery that took place in Marlboro on September 24th.

Detectives with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office tied Acori Knox, 21, of Hampton and Lauren McNiel, 24, of Newport News for the attempted burglary.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago said each suspect was charged with second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, and second-degree Attempted Burglary. Knox is additionally charged with first-degree Attempted Robbery, second-degree Eluding Police, and three second-degree weapons offenses.

On September 24th, police officers responded to a home in Marlboro after receiving a report of an attempted home invasion at around 5:30 am.

“According to a police report, “Shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, officers responded to a residential neighborhood on a report of an attempted home invasion,” the Marlboro Township Police Department said in their police report at the time. “They learned that an adult male suspect, later identified as Knox had just left the scene in a dark-colored Cadillac sedan with Virginia license plates, having minutes earlier attempted to enter the home through a rear patio door while brandishing an AK-47-style rifle.”

Police located the couple, but broke off after the pursuit posed a risk to public safety.

Investigators determined McNeil was one of several individuals present as guests at the home at the time, and it was revealed that she and her boyfriend, Knox, had planned the home invasion via text messages ahead of time, seeking to restrain the homeowner while robbing him of cash and personal effects.

They were both arrested in Newport News, Virginia this week.

“This case has been marked by consistently stellar investigative work throughout, from a swift initial response that very well may have prevented a far worse outcome all the way through the identification of these suspects and their arrests yesterday,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “It’s also a prime example of how powerfully effective collaborative efforts involving multiple agencies can be, all in an overarching effort to ensure that public safety is maintained throughout our communities.”

“The Marlboro Township Police Detective Bureau worked hand in hand with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newport News Police Department to close this investigation rapidly,” Marlboro Township Police Chief Peter J. Pezzullo added. “I am extremely proud of the dedication and diligence of Detective (Edward) Ungrady and all the Marlboro Officers involved in this case. This joint operation exemplifies how multiple law-enforcement agencies can work as one and accomplish great results.”