Ventnor stolen bike arrest puts bank-robbing sex offender back in federal custody
A convicted sex offender arrested with two stolen bikes in Ventnor is now in federal custody for violating parole in a bank robbery case.
David Raza, 42, was kicked out of at least two sober living homes and a detox center before a federal warrant was issued for his arrest, BreakingAC has learned.
Raza captured Ventnor Police Officer Gabriel Henao’s attention Wednesday, when he was seen riding down Surrey Avenue on one bike while pulling another.
As the officer spoke with him, Raza allegedly discarded drug paraphernalia and ran.
He was quickly caught and taken into custody after police found he was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Raza was taken to the Atlantic County Justice Facility until Thursday, when he was transferred to federal custody. He is currently in the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center, records show.
Raza is listed on the Megan’s Law registry as a Tier 3 sex offender, which is the highest risk.
Details on that conviction were difficult. But he is listed as having a conviction in Florida for lewd or lascivious battery child between the ages of 12 and 15.
His page lists his convictions in the late 1990s, saying he offered money and jewelry to a 12-year-old girl in return for sex and on a separate occasion assaulted a mentally disabled female acquaintance.
It’s not clear what kind of time he served for that. But by 2007, Raza was free and robbing banks.
He got about $8,300 from two banks in Enterprise, Alabama, that he robbed over a 10-day period. He remained free for two years, until he was captured in Atlantic County in 2009.
Raza was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison, followed by three years of parole supervision.
But staying off drugs while on parole has apparently proved difficult.
He moved into a sober living home Feb. 3 of this year, but was quickly kicked out after he drank beer there.
Raza’s probation officer convinced the house to allow him back if he completed a detox program.
But just one day after he was sent to Maryville Addiction Treatment Center in Williamstown, Gloucester County, Raza was heard bragging about smoking K2, also known as synthetic marijuana. Staff then found some in his bag.
He was allowed to stay at Maryville, with an increased program.
But on Feb. 12, his roommate tested positive for COVID-19, and Raza was sent to stay at a motel paid for by Second Chance Funds.
The warrant doesn’t indicate where the motel was, but later talks about Hammonton police responding there when he threatened suicide.
Raza later said he wasn’t suicidal, just upset that he relapsed, admitting to using heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.
When Maryville learned of his Tier 3 sex offender status, they refused to allow him back.
Addresses for the sober living homes were not given, but a neighbor said he was living at one on San Francisco Avenue in Egg Harbor City at one point, just down the street from the city Community School.
When BreakingAC reached out to police there in April, after learning of his possible location, they said he no longer was living there and they didn’t know why they had not been alerted to his location at the time.
At that time, his Megan’s registry said his address was “unmappable.”
Egg Harbor City police said they believed he was in Galloway Township at that time.
But by April 26, Raza had no address with parole. A federal warrant was signed the next day.
The last address Raza now has on his Megan’s Law registry is in the 400 block of London Avenue in Egg Harbor City, within a mile of both the Community School and the Charles Spragg Elementary School.
But it’s not clear exactly where he had been living. Ventnor police listed him as a resident of the city when the announced his arrest on theft and drug charges this week.