Tried to hold up Bank of Glen Burnie but customer escaped, got police

MAN HOLDS HOSTAGES IN ARUNDEL BANK

September 14, 1992|By Kris Antonelli and Joe Nawrozki | Kris Antonelli and Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writers

A man armed with a knife held seven hostages inside a Gle Burnie bank vault today after his attempt to rob the bank was foiled by a customer who escaped and flagged down a passing police officer.

By mid-day, eight other hostages had either escaped or were released from the Bank of Glen Burnie in the 100 block of S. Crain Highway.

When the latest hostage was released, a crowd of about 150 onlookers applauded.

While police SWAT team members and uniformed officers surrounded the bank, hostage negotiators were attempting to peacefully resolve the situation, police spokeswoman Officer Terry Robey said.

Traffic on Crain Highway was diverted. Occupants of nearby homes and businesses were asked to stay indoors.

Shortly after 9 a.m., customers and employees were herded into the bank vault by the robber and the barred door was closed.

Also in the bank were three armed Anne Arundel County policemen who were summoned minutes after the bandit announced the robbery when the bank opened at 9.

Nancy Kim said she was one of four customers in line waiting for the bank to open when she noticed the robber loitering away from the front door. When the bank opened, Ms. Kim said, she went to the first teller and the robber moved to a second teller's station and announced the holdup.

"He started yelling, 'Everyone back up!' " said Ms. Kim. "He told them not to push the alarm."

She said he asked where the vault was and he jumped over the counter.

Another customer, Maria Pregent said "he went over the counter and grabbed the teller around the neck."

Ms. Kim said she escaped from the bank and waved down a

passing police officer.

Meanwhile, Ms. Pregent managed to escape through a back door while the robber herded the hostages toward the vault.

"All I could think about was my two children in school and I just wanted to get out of there," Ms. Pregent said.

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