A New Jersey man who spent 15 years behind bars for robbing a shoe store committed the same exact crime the day after his release at the very same shoe store.
Christopher M. Miller, 40, was arrested back in March after robbing a Stride Rite shoe store in Toms River New Jersey the day after being released from jail. Miller spent 15 years in prison for the robbing the same exact store, and now, he’s talking about why he decided to recommit the same crime.
“They let me go with zero money and two bus tickets, and told me the two tickets would be enough to get me to Red Bank,” said Miller, who was scheduled to meet with his parole officer that day.
Miller says he tried talking to his parole officer over the phone to tell him that the two tickets weren’t enough to get him to Red Bank for the meeting, but when he didn’t get any further assistance, he decided to do what he does best.
“He started getting snippy with me,” said Miller. “Once you do that, I’m the kind of person that I turn it off. At that point I decided to go look for a place to rob.”
When Miller arrived in Toms River, he tried to find family or friends to help him out, but he was unable to make contact.
“I figured I’d take my chances there,” said Miller. “I was hoping to run into somebody I knew, something along those lines. Nothing like that happened. I hadn’t eaten from the time I left prison, so it was to the point where I was going to rob the place, get some money, get something to eat and a place to stay — or get caught. One of those two things.”
Surprisingly, Miller says he had no idea he was robbing the same store until after he was arrested, and as an officer pointed out, the store manager that he held up this time around was the same employee he demanded money from in 1999.
“I didn’t even realize it was the same store until after I got arrested,” said Miller to the NY Post. “I didn’t recognize her right away. I’m all up in the moment. The detective asked me later, ‘Didn’t she look familiar?’ I said, ‘You know what, it did seem a little déjà vu-ish.’”
“It was the easiest place to rob the last time, and I guess it was just the easiest place to rob this time. It was pure coincidence,” Miller added. “It seemed kind of funny afterwards.”
This time around, Miller made off with $389 and a few cell phones, whereas last time, he didn’t wind up getting anything.
“When they say it’s a revolving door, they’re not kidding,” said Miller. “Once you’re in the system and things don’t work out, you just resort to what you know. People ask me what kind of work can I do? I can burglarize the hell out of a store.”
Miller says he is willing to take a plea deal so that he only has to be in jail for another six or seven years.