54-year-old owner of Raven Inn catches man suspected of robbing Towson bank

December 24, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

A 54-year-old tavern owner chased a suspected bank robber through the streets of Towson yesterday and caught the man after firing a warning shot in the air, Baltimore County police said.

Anthony S. Campagna, who owns the Raven Inn on Loch Raven Boulevard near Joppa Road, was in the Carrollton Bank at 1740 East Joppa Road around 9:30 a.m. yesterday when a man gave one of the tellers a note demanding cash.

The man also handed over a paper bag, waited for the teller to fill it with cash, then ran out of the bank. As soon as he hit the streets, the teller yelled that she had been robbed.

According to E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman, the man )) headed west on Joppa Road toward Loch Raven Boulevard. Mr. Campagna followed.

"He ordered him to stop, and [the suspect] ignored him," Mr. Miller said.

The man then changed course, headed south on Lackawanna Road and started running. Mr. Campagna, still on the trail, also started running. A short time later, he fired the warning shot.

"The suspect had reached Yakona Road and tripped and fell about the time Mr. Campagna fired the shot," said Mr. Miller.

Mr. Campagna caught up with the man and ordered him to stay put. The man was on the ground when police arrived minutes later to arrest him. Beside him, police said they found a paper bag filled with cash.

Police identified the suspect as Preston Theantaris Jay, 40, of the 6600 block of English Oak Road in Hillendale. He was charged with bank robbery. Police said he was not armed.

Police thanked Mr. Campagna, who has a license to carry a handgun, and sent him on his way.

"While what he did is creditable, we might easily have ended up with a dead citizen on our hands," said Mr. Miller. "In this scenario, the good guys won. But it's certainly not something we recommend."

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