An Atlantic City man who is accused of robbing two shore banks within a few hours Thursday also allegedly stole a car before finally being caught.
Larry Kearns, 45, was arrested Thursday afternoon after crashing a car stolen from Margate into a tree at Cornwall and Winchester avenues in Ventnor and trying to run, Ventnor police Chief Michael Miller said in a news release.
Miller said Officer Joseph Fussner arrested Kearns as he tried to run from the car because he matched the description of a man a teller at the Sun National Bank in Ventnor said demanded money just before 2 p.m.
It was the second bank robbery on Absecon Island in less than 41/2 hours. Just before 9:30 a.m., a man fled from Atlantic City's Wells Fargo Bank with an undisclosed amount of money, police said. He was seen running from the scene.
But after the Ventnor bank was robbed at 1:50 p.m., the suspect - who matched the description of the suspect in the previous robbery - was seen driving from the scene.
Fussner saw the car heading east on Ventnor Avenue at Buffalo Avenue and tried to stop it. That's when Kearns crashed and tried to run, Miller said.
The car, a delivery vehicle for Dino's Sub & Pizza Shop, was reported stolen from South Granville Avenue in Margate just before the second robbery.
Kearns was originally charged by Ventnor with robbery, eluding, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. He also is facing charges from Margate for the car theft, Miller said.
He was sent to the Atlantic County Jail on $190,000 bail.
Atlantic City police then were able to link the Wells Fargo robbery to Kearns, police said. It was not immediately clear whether those additional charges would add to his bail.
Kearns previously served federal prison time, according to the Bureau of Prisons' website. The FBI has taken over the case. Special Agent Bryan Travers, a spokesman for the bureau, said he could not comment on the prior conviction due to the pending charges.
According to previous stories in The Press of Atlantic City, Kearns was federally charged in 2001 after he was arrested in the armed robbery of the Sun National Bank in Margate.
In that case, a man entered the bank March 6, 2001, handed the teller a note demanding money and then brandished a small chrome handgun. As he was about to leave the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, he returned to get the note, the news report said.
The Bureau of Prisons lists Kearns' "actual or projected" release date as June 6, 2010. The public site does not indicate term length or even charges.
Kearns also served five months in state prison on several shoplifting charges before being released in February 2009, records on the state Department of Corrections' website show.
Contact Lynda Cohen: