Robert J. Kennedy Jr. Arrested in CVS, Rite Aid Robberies

The Monroe Township man was caught Tuesday after robbing or attempting to rob pharmacies in West Deptford, Williamstown and Glassboro since the end of May.

A Monroe Township man has been arrested in connection with , along with robberies at two other Gloucester County pharmacies since the end of May.

Robert J. Kennedy Jr., 28, was arrested by Sgt. Barry Johnson of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office fugitive unit without incident Tuesday at a friend's home in the Narraticon development in Deptford.

Kennedy was charged with robbery in the June 5 incident at the in West Deptford, robbery of a CVS on Glassboro-Cross Keys Road in Williamstown on June 11, and robbery and theft at a Rite Aid on Delsea Drive in Glassboro on May 31.

In each case, police said Kennedy, dressed in black and covering his face, approached pharmacy clerks and either said he had a weapon or acted as though he did, and demanded Percocet or Oxycontin pills. In the West Deptford and Williamstown incidents, Kennedy fled before getting anything, but he was able to steal an unspecified amount of pills in the Glassboro robbery, police said.

An investigation by , with aid from Monroe and Glassboro police, along with several anonymous tips, pointed to Kennedy as a suspect in the robberies.

Kennedy is being held in the Gloucester County Jail in default of bail, set at $25,000 for the Glassboro charges, $10,000 on West Deptford's criminal complaint and $5,000 on the Monroe incident.

Kathleen Capolongo June 19, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Oh, give us a break here! The headline should have read, "Monroe Township man arrested...", and you know it. With the middle initial and the "Jr." you knew it would garner attention for this person's possible, some might think likely, connection to the famous Kennedy family. While I would be willing to believe almost anything negative about the Kennedy men this was a cheap shot obviously lobbed to attract attention to your otherwise mediocre piece. Sorry to say I fell for it.
Bryan Littel (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Respectfully, Kathleen, this is the online news world—people aren't searching for "a Monroe township man" when it comes to this robbery. They're plugging his name into Google or Bing or you name it. The Kennedy clan never came into it.
scott lipsky June 19, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I completely agree with the readers. Petty crimes committed by unknown individuals never have their names in the headlines, because the story isn't about them, it's the crime they allegedly committed. Sorry, Brian, you're wrong on this one, as were your editors. Dave, slander relates to the spoken word, the closest this relates to is libel, I don't think we have here anyway. Just poor journalism, which i've come to expect from Patch bureaus across the US
scott lipsky June 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM
And one more thing Bryan (sorry for the mispelling in my previous post), you don't need to have someone's name in a headline to find them in Google or Bing or wherever else...and i'm sure you know that.
Matthew Rothenberg June 19, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I've worked in journalism for 25 years -- online since the mid-'90s -- and I know as well as I presume you do how this works. If you truly don't understand how your "Robert J. Kennedy" headline graduated to CNN.com, you might want to read up on clickbait.
Bryan Littel (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Sure, you don't have to, but it's about doing what you can to position your stories higher in a search.
Matthew Rothenberg June 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
(Do you have anyone with the surname "Romney" or "Obama" in West Deptford? You could do an exclusive interview -- and a killer headline! Maybe get Walter Romney and Fred Obama to debate. Or have a fistfight.)
Bryan Littel (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Clearly, someone failed to do their basic diligence in pulling in related content.
Lauren Burgoon June 20, 2012 at 01:14 AM
This simply isn't the vast journalism conspiracy you're imagining. If you work in online journalism, you know that specific, targeted headlines work best for SEO and headlines are favored in search results. We use them all the time. Just from this month: Bill 'El Wingador' Simmons Arrested on Cocaine Charges Dwayne M. Chorney Jr. Pleads Guilty in Williamstown Burglaries Niesha Lewis Pleads Guilty in ManorCare Thefts, Gets Probation Paul Henning Faces 14 Years in Prison After Pleading Guilty in Bank Heist Maurice Patterson of Blackwood Allegedly Violated Sex-Offender Terms Stephen Headley Pleads Guilty in Nicole Ayres' 2010 Murder Collingswood Resident Nicholas Stens Sentenced to 12 Years in Drug Case Assault Claim Filed Against "Jersey Shore's" Ortiz If you need some SEO tips, just let us know.
roberto kennedy Sr. June 20, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Gee andy right away i said to myself....self its those damned Kennedies robbing our pharmacies. I hear that bobby jr said give me the drugs or my uncle will drive you across a bridge or or or have sex with a russian spy or that blonde chick. Andy how about that girl in uncle teddies car, did she die "serving america" ?????
Matthew Rothenberg June 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Lauren: No, thanks; I'm all set on the SEO tips, although I appreciate the offer! Here's where I see a special problem: The wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (of the famous Kennedy family) committed suicide last month. It was a story that continues to lead national press as journalists scramble for new angles on erratic behavior. Now you publish a story on Robert J. Kennedy Jr. (no relation of the famous Kennedy family) robbing pharmacies. I don't see a "vast journalism conspiracy," but I do think an editor would reasonably add the disclaimer that Robert J. Kennedy Jr. was no relation of the political. If you'd taken this simple step, I know I'd be less skeptical about the headline, and of claims that it was other news organizations' lack of diligence that spread the story. Yes, they neglected to make this lack of relationship clear -- but so did you.
Matthew Rothenberg June 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM
("political dynasty")
Dianna Ivanov June 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
You can argue back and forth all day long whether or not the "Kennedy" connection was intentional however as someone who click on the story for one reason and one reason alone "A Kennedy robbed a CVS, WHAT?" I can tell you I was disappointed to see the ploy. I'm happy that it's NOT another sad Kennedy Family story however I'm feeling duped. Just sayin!
Bill Cooper June 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM
The transparent clickbait is one thing. Understandable, if rather bush league. But the vigorous *defense* of it in the story comments, both from the writer as well as his regional editor? Shameful. You both come across as defensive kids. This kind of nonsense is embarrassing for the entire news industry. It is the exact sort of thing that keeps reporters so poorly ranked when it comes to respected professions, and is exactly the sort of thing that prompted me to leave the business after 15 years as an editor.
Amanda Jones June 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
And there you go - the difference between traditional journalism and online 'journalism': We now write for SEO instead of for your reader. Using a name in a headline implies said person is a household name - thus the confusion over the nonexistent Kennedy connection. It's not journalistic conspiracy or libel, it's a crappy headline and poor judgment. But that's online 'jounalism' for ya.
Amanda Jones June 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Respectfully, Patch folks, readers care that an arrest was made in the CVS and Rite Aid robberies. They don't know who the heck Robert J. Kennedy Jr. is. Using his name n the headline suggests he's a household name. "Monroe Twp. man" would've been more appropriate by journalistic standards. Surely you can't be dense enough to be genuinely surprised by the confusion here.
Bill Cooper June 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Matthew, you are correct in your criticism. A credible news organization would at the very least have clarified in the story that this person has no relation to the Kennedy clan, and would have done so almost immediately after the first mention of his name. As Amanda rightly points out, the implication is clear, but Bryan and Lauren don't really care as long as they generate a lot of traffic. They *should* care. Anyone who cares about good journalism would. The fact that they are staunchly defending their choice, however, shows where their priorities lie. The whole "if other news organizations pick it up, that's on them" defense is laughable on its face and insulting to the readers, suggesting that the folks who created and approved this piece are just innocent bystanders in the ensuing confusion. Your readers are not that naive, Bryan.
William Hill June 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Deplorable stance by Patch editor.
Alan Stamm June 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
My knee also jerked reflexively and I was primed to join the pile-on. . . . . . 'til a methodical look at the 'Police & Fire' category of the pagetop 'News' tab showed that starting crime headlines with names became your style three months ago. From January until March 14, 10 crime reports involving one arrest had the accused's name in the second-line deck. After then, I spotted just one in that style June 10. Fifty-two other heads atop crime or court coverage start with a name (usually) or have it in the top line if one defendant was involved. So your explanation is consistent with that practice, Bryan, though I agree that you should have seen this as a special case and made an exception. Tough to imagine you didn't relish a traffic-boosting bonanza from the name's coincidental prominence. And man oh man, your township sure has a hefty share of bizarre crimes and perps . . . even for Jersey!
Andrew June 20, 2012 at 06:41 PM
This dissembling by Bryan and Lauren is exactly what I expect watchdog media (including Patch) to cut through, not dispense. Your SEO methods may bring clicks today, but it will water down the already diluted credibility and reputation of Patch as a news source.
shewiz June 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM
My 2 cents: the failure to disclaim any relation to the politically-famous Kennedy family was either shoddy journalism or intentional deception. Not much to be proud of either way.
Bill Bondar June 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I don't care what they say about you Bryan, You do a good job. <g>
Kelsey Davenport June 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
This is on Patch, which I believe pays people for the number of clicks their articles receive. Clearly this author isn't above deception and quasi-libelous behavior to boost his numbers. For shame.
Steve June 23, 2012 at 05:54 PM
No doubt in my mind that the headline was intentionally vague or even misleading. The first sentence should have told us, the readers, that this person was in no known way related to the nationally known Kennedy family. As a matter of fact I don't recall any time a full name is mentioned in the headline unless it is a well known public figue or for dramatic effect.
Anon Anonymouse June 23, 2012 at 07:58 PM
CLICKBAIT! Duped. Never again Patch.
Otto von Klimmerklammer June 24, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Anyone who claims that leading with a name like "Robert J. Kennedy, Jr" isn't being just a bit deceitful doesn't think very highly of the readers...I'm waiting for Franklin D. Lincoln or George W. Reagan to turn up as heads of an international drug ring. ;)
Eric June 24, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Sleezy and unethical attempt Bryan, but successful. You generated a lot of comments and hits but sacrificed your credibility as a journalist to do so. You sold your soul for a few extra hits, it speaks volumes about you. Your attempt to spin it and justify your actions only make it worse. Sleep well tonight
2Legit2Quit June 24, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Shameless and Pitiful BREAKING NEWS: Bryan Little and Lauren Burgooh NABBED red handed in CLICKBAIT SCAM... Local "journalists" show no remorse in attempts to mislead readers....
George Grasser June 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I agree. The writer should be fired and an apology issued in compensation for my four minutes.
BadethicsbrianL June 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I hate to get you closer to your 1,000/month comment goal but here I am. The fact that you're sticking by your crappy journalism speaks volumes and only helps fuel the Patch hate. You've just made it even harder for Patch editors to be taken seriously. I'm glad your real name is attached to this, Brian, so your lack of ethics will be apparent in your own personal SEO. And since you and your RE are so keen to dole out SEO advice here's a tip: what you're doing can get you banned from Google results, and people have reported this for violating its rules.


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