A 34-year-old Silver Spring man was kidnapped at gunpoint after he picked up a hitchhiker yesterday and was nearly forced to participate in a bank robbery in Burtonsville before he escaped, Montgomery County police said.
The driver, not identified by police, agreed to give the hitchhiker a ride at 3:20 p.m. in a shopping center parking lot on Old Columbia Pike near Briggs Chaney Road. As they were heading north on U.S. 29, the hitchhiker pulled a gun on the driver, took his money and ordered him to drive to a Citizen's National Bank in Burtonsville at U.S. 29 and Route 198, police said.
The hitchhiker, who said he had explosives in a paper bag he was carrying, ordered the man to go to the drive-up window to rob the bank. While they waited in line behind another car, the driver began to wrestle with the hitchhiker and escaped, police said. The hitchhiker ran across Route 198 and into the woods.
Police said that the bag contained two flares and some wires taped together with a clock face attached but that it was not explosive. They had not found the hitchhiker.