‘Wig-Wearing Criminal’ Caught, Police Say
TOMS RIVER — Police say the "Wig-Wearing Criminal" has been taken into custody, thanks to an alert bank teller.
Toms River Police said Brook B. Slade, 43, of Arizona was taken into custody after a teller at a PNC Bank on Sunset Avenue in Asbury Park reported Thursday that a woman was attempting to make a withdrawal using fraudulent ID and stolen debit cards.
The bank staff told police she looked like the same woman in a picture circulated earlier by Toms River Police.
Slade drove off when police arrived at the bank, and managed to lose an officer who followed her dark silver Nissan, police said. About 20 minutes later, they responded to another call about a woman removing a license plate from a parked car on Heck Street, who then left on foot, police said.
Officers tracked her down and arrested her on Asbury Avenue after matching her description to the woman at the bank, police said.
Toms River Police issued their second alert about a woman who stole checkbooks at Riverwood Park last month, and had been using the checks at banks across the Shore. Before Thursday, she tried cashing stolen checks at two Manasquan Bank branches in Howell and at banks in Wall Township recently, according to Toms River Police.
She was seen wearing different colored wigs in several surveillance photos released by Toms River Police.
Toms River Police said the woman pictured is believed to be an accomplice of a well-organized group that travels the state committing crimes.
State Police said they also believe the woman might be the same crook who burglarized a car at Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County in October, and then used the victim's driver's license and bank card to withdraw $4,600 from a bank in Pennsylvania.
Toms River Police credited those who took the time to view and share the pictures they circulated for helping to solve the crime.
"We cannot be omnipresent in our policing, and we value the efforts of citizen crime fighters who take the time to get involved, even if it is for a brief moment to like and share our posts. Your efforts have been successful time and time again in the apprehension of people determined to take advantage of innocent, hard-working citizens," spokesman Ralph Stocco said in a statement.
After her arrest in Asbury Park, Slade was charged with with eluding, two counts of receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, trespassing, and motor vehicle violations for reckless driving, driving without a license, two counts of failure to stop for a stop sign, fictitious plates, failure to signal, and failure to maintain lane.
She will be held at the Monmouth County Jail pending her first court appearance.