Man Serves 15 Years, Robs Same Store After Release
Christopher Miller returned to the Stride Rite in Toms River the day after he was released, police say
Police say a man who just completed a 15-year prison term for robbing a New Jersey shoe store went back there the day after his release and committed the same crime. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014)
Police say a man walked out of a New Jersey prison after serving 15 years for robbing a children's shoe store, headed straight back to the same shop and robbed it again.
In 1999, 25-year-old Christopher Miller was arrested after he forced employees into the back room of the Stride Rite shoe store on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, tied them up and fled with cash.
After a 15-year sentence, Miller was released on Friday from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton.
Police say Miller, now 40, took a bus from Atlantic City to Toms River on Saturday, and went to the same shoe store.
Employees tell police that he entered the store and demanded cash, telling the workers -- a teenage boy and 43-year-old woman -- to go to the back room. They refused.
He became agitated, according to police, and took the cash register drawer, which had $389.
He then took the workers' cell phones and fled on foot.
Police say he was found a few blocks away, with the cash stashed in a gutter and the phones in a garbage can.
Toms River Police Chief Mitchell Little says he has to wonder whether Miller considers prison life home.
"Maybe that's the only life he knows, and the only thing he could think of was going back to the same store and doing the same crime again -- getting caught and going back where he was taken care of and told what to do and getting meals and shelter and everything else," he said.
Police say Miller lists Tulsa, Okla. as his last address. His connection to Toms River is not clear.
He is charged with robbery and is being held on $100,000 bail. Police had no attorney information for him.
-- Brian Thompson contributed to this report.
Published at 1:37 PM EDT on Mar 25, 2014