On January 30, 2018, Stafford Township Police Department’s Detective Drew Smith and Detective Sergeant David Johnson arrested James M. Buccanfuso (41 years old) of 1st Avenue New York, New York, and Sergey M. Demidenko (38 years old) of Brooklyn after an investigation revealed the pair had committed six bank robberies, or attempted bank robberies between January 16, 2018 and January 26, 2018 in New Jersey and New York. The robberies included the Stafford Township Chase Bank robbery on January 18, 2018, and the attempted bank robbery of the Stafford Township Wells Fargo Bank on January 26, 2018.
After a thorough investigation, Detective Smith and Detective Sergeant Johnson learned that Sergey Demidenko had entered each of the six banks wearing a zip up hooded sweatshirt and dark aviator sunglasses, and passed a robbery note demanding cash. He would then flee on foot from the banks after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash. James M. Buccanfuso helped plan the robberies, and acted as the getaway driver parking his 2012 green Jeep Grand Cherokee away from the scene. Demidenko and Buccanfuso would split the proceeds, and travel back and forth from New York to Atlantic City.
On January 18, 2018, the Stafford Township Police Department’s investigation began with the robbery of the Chase Bank located at 447 Martin Truex Blvd in Manahawkin. Then on January 24, 2018, the pair robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at 273 West White Horse Pike in Galloway Township. On January 26, 2018, there was an attempted robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank located at 297 West Route 72 in Manahawkin, but Demidenko fled the bank after the teller demanded he remove his sunglasses and hood. Surveillance footage captured the incidents, and police learned that a Demidenko had fled the scene in 2012 model Jeep Grand Cherokee with an unknown New York license plate.
Detective Smith and Detective Sergeant Johnson contacted New York Police Department, who advised that they had similar bank robberies involving a subject matching Demidenko’s description. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) was investigating three bank robberies:
· January 16, 2018 - Capital One Savings Bank located in Park Slope, New York.
· January 25, 2018 - Roslyn Savings Bank located in Massapequa, New York
· January 25, 2018 - Chase Bank located at 1722 Avenue U/E 18th Street in Brooklyn, New York.
Detective Smith and Detective Sergeant Johnson learned the Jeep Grand Cherokee had been in an Atlantic City Casino parking garage, and were able to identify the license plate. They began tracking the suspect’s activities and movements. On January 30, 2018, Detective Drew Smith and Detective David Johnson traveled to Manhattan where they were able to locate both subjects, and place them into custody with the assistance of the NYPD. Demidenko and Buccanfuso were then turned over to the FBI, at which time they were lodged in jail pending federal bank robbery charges.
As policy, the Stafford Township Police Department will not release the photos of any defendants. Also, the media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations, and that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.