A New York man currently serving time in a Massachusetts jail on robbery charges and his girlfriend have been charged in the Independence Day armed robbery of the Mahwah CVS on Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah Police announced in a release Wednesday.
Freddie L. Toms, 37, of Gainsville, NY, is believed to be the man seen in store surveillance camera footage yielding a “large handgun” and “forcibly removing” an undisclosed amount of cash from the store’s cash registers on July 4 of this year, Mahwah Police Chief Jim Batelli said in a release Wednesday.
Toms is a “convicted felon with a lengthy criminal record,” who has served a total of 18 years in prison on robbery charges in New York and Texas, Batelli said.
According to cops, Toms’ girlfriend and accomplice, Nicole DeSilva, 27, of Ballston Spa, NY, first entered the Mahwah CVS at about 9:15 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Police say witnesses described her behavior in the store as “suspicious.”
Toms allegedly robbed the store at gunpoint about half an hour after she left, police said.
Working off of the surveillance footage and with PDs from other states, Mahwah detectives identified DeSilva, who was already on probation for previous criminal charges in another state, Batelli said.
“Detective Michael Grassi and [Officer] Kevin Hebert interviewed the suspect, who admitted her guilt as well as implicating the identity of the armed robber,” Batelli said.
Police located Toms in a Worcester County, Mass. jail, where he is being held after his arrest for allegedly robbing a Worcester CVS on July 14, Batelli said.
Mahwah police have charged Toms with first-degree armed robbery, criminal restraint, weapons charges, and theft, Batelli said. Toms’ bail was set at $250,000, police said.
DeSilva has been charged with first-degree armed robbery as an accomplice, police said. Bail was set at $75,000, police said.
Toms will remain in the Massachusetts jail, cops said.
DeSilva was remanded to the Saratoga County Jail pending her extradition to Bergen County, police said.
According to Batelli, Mahwah Detective Michael Grassi led an “extensive multi-state investigation” that utilized the video footage, witness interviews, and coordination with other town, county, and state police agencies in NJ and NY to identify and locate Toms and DeSilva.