A Vineland man arrested last month for allegedly posing as a bounty hunter in August is under indictment for two similar acts authorities say he committed earlier this year.
An indictment handed up by a Cumberland County grand jury last week alleges that Edward Devine Collins impersonated a bounty hunter during an incident in Vineland on March 7. The indictment also alleges that the 27-year-old received between $200 and $500 from a woman by “deception” on May 7. The victim is not identified in the indictment.
Collins, of the 2800 block of South Main Road, is formally charged with impersonating a public servant and theft by deception. He is being held in the Cumberland County jail on $200,000 bail.
Bail for Collins was originally set at $300,000 after his arrest Sept. 21 in the August incident. Superior Court Judge Darrell Fineman reduced Collins’ bail to $200,000 during court proceedings Friday.
According to Vineland police, on Aug. 23 Collins convinced a woman that he was a bounty hunter, handcuffed her and took her to the Vineland Police Department.
The woman apparently submitted to Collins’ demands because she knew she was wanted on outstanding warrants and saw that Collins was wearing some kind of badge, Vineland police said. Police did not realize that Collins was not a state-licensed bounty hunter until after he left department headquarters with a legitimate bail bondsman, they said.
Authorities eventually arrested Collins in Millville on Sept. 21 after an anonymous tip placed him at Eighth and Pine streets in Millville.
Vineland and Millville police went to the scene and approached the vehicle in which Collins was a passenger. Authorities eventually caught Collins around 11th and Mulberry streets after a short chase.
State legislators enacted a law in January 2006 requiring that all bounty hunters in New Jersey be licensed. The law went into effect in February 2007.
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