Fugitive sought in bank robbery on Charles Street

January 24, 1991

A man who escaped from the Baltimore City Jail New Year's Eve after receiving a 7 1/2 -year federal sentence for robbing a downtown bank on South Charles Street is now being sought in the robbery of a second bank just across the street, according to authorities.

Wayne Maurice Byrd, 37, of the 5900 block of Radecke Avenue was at the City Jail awaiting transfer to a federal institution when he and another inmate escaped Dec. 31 by hiding in the back of a trash truck, Baltimore police said.

On Tuesday morning, a man resembling Byrd robbed a Signet Bank branch in the first block of South Charles Street and escaped with about $2,000, they said. Detective Errol Etting of the city robbery unit said a picture of the suspect was taken by a bank camera.

Authorities said that Byrd -- who had only been released about two years ago after serving a sentence on his convictions in two 1981 bank robberies -- may also be linked to two other downtown bank robberies. One of them occurred within hours of his jail escape, police reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Warren Hamel said Byrd was sentenced Dec. 20 to 7 1/2 years for the Aug. 6 robbery of Loyola Federal Savings & Loan in the 100 block of South Charles Street.

As Byrd left the building during that theft, he became frightened and dropped all the stolen money along with the keys to both his apartment and a getaway car stolen from an auto dealership where he had applied for a job, Mr. Hamel said.

Police used the keys to locate him at his apartment.

Rodney G. Johnson of the U.S. Marshal's Service said anyone with information on the fugitive can contact them by calling 962-2517 or 962-2220 or toll free at (800) 336-0102.

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