Man used ‘Jaws of Life’ to rob Prince George’s Co. convenience store ATMs of hundreds of thousands

An arrest has been made in a series of armed robberies where police say the suspect used a hydraulic spreader — often called “the Jaws of Life”— to steal money out of convenience store ATMs in Prince George’s County, Maryland, earlier this year.

On Wednesday, 31-year-old Stefan Janey, of Upper Marlboro, was arrested by Prince George’s County police, according to a news release.

For now, he’s facing dozens of charges connected to eight convenience store robberies in Prince George’s County on Jan. 15 and 17. Numerous other robberies using a similar method occurred in other parts of the D.C. region too.

“We have been looking at this individual for a period of time,” said Maj. Michael Ebaugh with Prince George’s County police.

After leading police on a chase from Upper Marlboro, Janey was arrested at around 7 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Brightseat and Sheriff roads in the Landover area. Police are still looking for other suspects who were involved.

“We do know that when these robberies occurred, that there was multiple individuals going into the businesses, and some of them were armed,” said Ebaugh. “They were using, in a lot of these cases, particularly the Jaws of Life to open up ATMs and take cash.”

When the robberies occurred, the suspects would force store clerks to the back offices at gunpoint, while others who were involved would try to pry open the machines. Not every robbery was successful, but charging documents said the ones that were, netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash over a two-day period.

Police raided an apartment in Upper Marlboro where Janey’s girlfriend lived and seized numerous items that they believe connects him to those robberies, according to charging documents. Those items include a gun, ski mask, handheld radios, a prying tool and a stolen SUV. Police also said cellphone data puts Janey in the vicinity of those stores when the crimes happened.

“We are optimistic about other charges and in charging other individuals as we continue with this investigation,” said Ebaugh.

Police are also looking into whether or not Janey was involved in other robberies going back as far as last year, Ebaugh said.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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