N.J. Man Released From Prison Robs Same Shoe Store He Robbed 15 Years Earlier


Apparently, he really liked being in prison:

TOMS RIVER — The day after Christopher M. Miller finished a 15-year prison sentence for robbing a Stride Rite store in Toms River, he committed an almost identical crime at the same store, said Ralph Stocco, police spokesman.

Miller, 40, formerly of Tulsa, Okla., was released on Friday from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton after serving a 15-year sentence for robbing Stride Rite store at 1358 Hooper Ave. On Saturday, Miller took a bus from Atlantic City to Toms River, returned to the same Stride Rite store, and committed a second robbery, Stocco said, but there were snags.

At 4:21 p.m. Miller entered the store and encountered two store employees, a 17-year-old boy and a 43-year-old woman, Stocco said. He demanded cash but became agitated by their slow response and removed the register drawer and its $389 in cash himself, Stocco said.

Just as he did in 1999, Miller demanded the pair go to the rear of store, Stocco said. However, they refused, he said.

He demanded their car keys and was turned down again, Stocco said. A frustrated Miller took the employees’ cellphones and store phone and fled on foot, he said. The employees still managed to alert police, who responded immediately. Moments later, Miller was detained by Patrol Officer George Fernicola and K-9 Officer Kyle Martucci, and Martucci’s dog Cyrus found the phones and the cash stashed in a gutter downspout behind a shopping plaza.

Back in 1999, Miller was sentenced to 15 years in prison for for three armed robberies in Toms River and Brick, as well as theft, criminal restraint and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, authorities said at the time.

The incidents included the attempted robbery in November 1999 of the Stride Rite, the robbery of a Carvel on Drum Point Road in Brick and a robbery and at the Payless Shoe Store at routes 9 and 571 in Toms River.

Amusingly this guy was likely heading south in New Jersey around the same time I was heading north in the same state last Friday, although Toms River is about an hour south of where I ended up that day.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    If at first you don’t succeed…

  2. Dave,

    I suppose.

    I’m just glad that (1) this didn’t happen in my hometown and (2) this isn’t someone I went to High School with.

  3. Pinky says:

    The sad thing is, he seems to have gotten worse at it. I respect the perfectionist who goes back at the first opportunity and turns a C+ project into an A. But this guy just lost his knack. It’s like a retired athlete returning to the game long after his prime. He should have just contented himself with memories of the great Stride Rite caper of 1999.

  4. rodney dill says:

    If the shoe fits…..

  5. Tillman says:

    They’ve got a name for people like you Hi. That name is called “recidivism.”
    Repeat offender!
    Not a pretty name, is it Hi?
    No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.
    You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?
    No, sir, no way.
    ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.
    Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.
    Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?
    Yes, sir.
    Okay, then.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    It’s called: “what you do when you have no other idea of what to do with the rest of your life because you already screwed up the first half.”