Gang suspect is shot in Del. Man, linked to series of local robberies, is shot in bank holdup.

March 15, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff Frank Roylance and Joe Nawrozki contributed to this story.

An Annapolis man shot five times during a gunfight after a bank robbery in Wilmington, Del., has been identified as a suspect in the March 7 robbery of a Towson credit union, a Baltimore County police spokesman said.

During the Wilmington shootout, a second robber, from Baltimore, was killed, and a third robber was wounded and captured. A fourth robber was arrested today in Philadelphia.

One Wilmington police officer was wounded in the shootout. Two other officers nearby were injured, but not by gunfire, police said.

E. Jay Miller, the county spokesman, said Michael Montell

Boston, 22, of Annapolis, was shot by police while he and at least four other men tried to elude capture after the 10 a.m. robbery yesterday of the Wilmington Trust Co.

Boston was listed in critical condition today at Christiana Hospital in Stanton, Del. Miller said he had no fixed address in Annapolis for Boston.

Boston's capture came one day after Baltimore police announced the arrests of 13 men over the past month who have been charged with committing more than 30 armed robberies in the city and Baltimore County since October.

It was not known if all the men who robbed the Delaware bank were members of the "shotgun gang" that police have linked to more than two dozen Baltimore-area robberies.

In the Delaware robbery, Edward Spencer Punnett, 26, of Baltimore, was shot at least eight times by police and died at Wilmington Hospital.

At least one of the bank robbers escaped, reportedly by taking a cab to the Wilmington train station.

Wilmington police spokesman Sgt. Ed Hazewski said information provided by police in Baltimore County, Philadelphia, and from witnesses led them to a home in South Philadelphia before dawn today.

At the house, Herbert Pope, 26, was arrested at 4 a.m. and was awaiting extradition to Baltimore. He is charged with three counts of first-degree robbery, three counts of attempted murder, and a total of seven weapons charges.

A fourth suspect, identified as William Francis, 20, of Hampton, Va., was wounded at least twice in the shootout, and was listed in fair condition today at Christiana Hospital.

Thomas Monahan, 32, a Wilmington police officer, was wounded in both legs. He was in good condition today at Wilmington Hospital.

Hazewski said another Wilmington officer received a neck injury in an auto accident at the scene of the shooting, and a third officer sustained a puncture wound from an unknown source. Both were treated and released.

Miller said a warrant charging Boston with the robbery of the State Employees Credit Union on LaSalle Drive in Towson was issued Wednesday after police identified Boston through physical evidence left at the scene.

He said Boston's whereabouts were unknown until county police received information that Boston was captured in Wilmington.

"We didn't make it known that a warrant had been issued because we didn't want him to know we were closing in on him," Miller said.

Miller said two county robbery detectives went to Wilmington yesterday afternoon to learn if the other men who were captured and the dead robber were involved in any of the county holdups.

Miller said each of the men have been charged with armed robbery, attempted murder and handgun violations in the Wilmington case.

He said police were to have fingerprinted the suspects to see if they were involved in any of the armed robberies in the Baltimore area.

Miller said Punnett, who wore his hair in dreadlocks, matched the description of a man suspected of robbing the Food Place in the 8500 block of Liberty Road Feb. 21, a Household bank and the credit union.

Miller said Boston was reportedly with Tony Maurice Bedford, 19, of the 5400 block of Bucknell Road in Baltimore, shortly before Bedford was arrested at the Newport News-Williamsburg Airport Virginia last Saturday while attempting to buy a one-way ticket to Philadelphia.

It is believed the two men lived together in Newport News.

Bedford has been charged in 15 of the more than 30 armed robberies committed in the Baltimore area by men armed with semiautomatic handguns and sawed-off rifles or sawed-off shotguns.

Bedford was returned to Baltimore County Monday and remains in custody in lieu of $1.5 million bond.

Miller said that a van used as a getaway vehicle in the Wilmington robbery was rented by Boston in Newport News.

In the van, Wilmington police found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and two .380 semiautomatic handguns, three .22-caliber rifles with sawed-off stocks and at least one sawed-off shotgun.

L All the money taken in the Wilmington robbery was recovered.

As the armed men left the Wilmington bank, police arrived and a high-speed chase on crowded streets ensued.

After the van and at least one police car collided with three other cars, police and the robbers began firing at each other.

Miller said it appeared the van drove into a walled-in parking lot, thus trapping the men.

Miller said the Wilmington bank robbery was very similar to those committed in Baltimore County and in city in recent weeks in that the robbers vaulted counters and were in and out of the building in a matter of minutes.

"They forced people onto the floor and watched the clock in nearly every robbery and appeared to have limited each robbery to two minutes," Miller said.

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