Jury finds South Jersey armed bank robber with dirty socks on hands guilty after leaving beer bottle at scene

BROWNS MILLS, NJ – A Browns Mills man who robbed a bank in Pemberton at gunpoint has been found guilty by a jury of his peers.

Cortney Bell, 38, was convicted and will be sentenced on April 21st for robbing a bank in Pemberton in 2019.

On July 23, 2019, officers from the Pemberton Borough Police Department and troopers from the New Jersey State Police were called to the TD Bank on Elizabeth Street for a report of a robbery.

“Upon arrival, employees and customers indicated a man came into the bank wearing a hooded sweatshirt, bandana, sunglasses, and dirty sweat socks on his hands,” police said. “He approached a teller with his hand in his pocket, pointing toward her, saying he had a gun. He threatened to start shooting the tellers unless they provided him with money.”

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After being given several bundles of cash, Bell fled the bank but dropped the money. While he was picking the bills up from the floor, a Corona Light beer bottle fell out of his pocket. He made off with $600.

Police used DNA evidence on the beer bottle to identify Bell as the suspect.

“Investigators took the bottle to the New Jersey State Police Central Regional Laboratory, where forensic scientists were able to obtain a DNA sample that was ultimately matched to Bell,” the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office reported. “He was charged with the bank robbery in December 2020. The warrant was served to him in the Burlington County Jail, where he was awaiting trial for a separate offense.”