Somerset Man Found Guilty of Conspiracy, Robbery, Theft and Tampering

Published on February 16, 2024

Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, First Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and Riverdale Police Chief Charles Quant Jr. announce that a jury has found Melvin Banks, 37, of Somerset, New Jersey guilty of one count of second-degree Conspiracy; first-degree Armed Robbery; third-degree Theft of a Motor Vehicle and first-degree Witness Tampering.

The State presented evidence that Melvin Banks targeted the owner of a high-end luxury car rental business in a conspiracy to rob the individual of jewelry and other items.  On December 4, 2021, Banks was scheduled to return a rented Mercedes S580 to the victim and coordinated its return for 9 p.m. that same evening. At 9:31 p.m., the victim was instead robbed at gunpoint by co-defendant Daniel Lind.  Lind fired a handgun, mere feet from where the victim sat, and took approximately $100,000 in jewelry and cell phones.  Lind then fled the business and entered the waiting rental vehicle, driven by Melvin Banks.  In the hours leading up to the robbery, Banks and Lind were captured on surveillance purchasing black gloves and cable ties at a local Home Depot and returning to the scene of the robbery to await the victim’s arrival. In the months after the robbery, during the subsequent investigation of the crime by Riverdale Police, Banks sent messages threatening harm to the victim and the victim’s family if the victim did not drop the charges.

Prior to trial, Daniel Lind pled guilty to first-degree Robbery and second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and was sentenced to 8 years in New Jersey State Prison.

The charges against Melvin Banks were tried before a jury between January 30, 2024, and February 8, 2024. The Honorable Claudia Jones, JSC presided over the trial. The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Alexandra Pecora and Assistant Prosecutor Bridget Carr. The jury returned its verdict on February 9, 2024. 

Melvin Banks is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2024.  He is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending sentencing.

Prosecutor Carroll would like to acknowledge the Riverdale Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office General Investigation Unit for their efforts in this investigation and prosecution.

Media inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected].  


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