Two more banks were robbed in Baltimore yesterday, bringing the city's 1993 bank robbery total to 68, surpassing the total for all of last year, police reported.
Police said the first robbery occurred about 8:55 a.m. at the Maryland National Bank branch in the 100 block of S. Charles St., where a man told a teller that he was armed with a pistol and wanted money.
The man never showed a weapon, but was given an undisclosed amount of cash, which he later dropped on the street outside when a dye pack exploded, police said. The man ran off and was still being sought last night.
He was described as black and in his 20s, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a medium build, dark complexion and short hair. He was wearing a blue striped shirt and dark blue pants.
At 2:10 p.m., a man with what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun walked into the Sterling Bank and Trust Co. in the 100 block of E. Lombard St. and announced a robbery, police said.
He was given an undisclosed amount of cash and fled, police said. He is described as black, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and limping slightly. He wore a baseball cap and a white T-shirt saying "Hard Rock Cafe," police said.
In 1992, there was a total of 66 bank robberies in Baltimore, according to city police. The record is 96, set in 1980.
Authorities theorize that the increase in bank robberies could be due to a stagnant economy, high unemployment, greater availability of guns and rampant drug abuse.