A man who claimed he was carrying a bomb stole an unknown amount of money from Carroll County Bank & Trust Co. in Hampstead Saturday, three days after the bank's Manchester branch was robbed of $174.
Sgt. Andy Mays, a state police criminal investigator in Westminster, said authorities have little information about either robbery, but feel the two crimes are related.
"It's a high probability that it's the same person," Sergeant Mays said.
In Saturday's holdup, the suspect walked to the drive-through window of the bank, in the 900 block of S. Main St., about 8:30 a.m., told a female teller he was carrying explosives in a bag and demanded money.
After taking the money the teller gave him, the suspect fled the area on foot. He was last seen walking east behind the Family Pharmacy in the 4000 block of Lower Beckleysville Road.
The suspect, described only as a white man wearing heavy winter clothing, could not be found after state police, responding immediately to the bank alarm, sealed off and searched the area. A state police helicopter assisted in the search.
Investigators believe the man may have left the area in a vehicle parked on Lower Beckleysville Road.
The Manchester robbery occurred at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, when a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun stole $174 from the bank's Manchester branch.
That suspect walked into the bank, in the center of Manchester, demanded money and threatened three employees with a shotgun. He ran out the back door after one of the tellers gave him a stack of $1 bills.
That bandit was described as a white man about 30 years old with a medium build and brown hair, wearing a green hooded sweat shirt, a purple scarf and an Army-style field jacket.
Investigators later received information that an older model light blue Chevrolet station wagon, with gray primer on the driver's door, had left the post office parking lot -- where the suspect had fled -- about the same time.
State police and the FBI are investigating both robberies.
Sergeant Mays said he had some safety concerns about the incident.
"We just hope this guy doesn't hurt someone," the sergeant said. "The first time, he uses a shotgun and the next time, it's this alleged bomb. It appears as if he's pretty desperate."
Anyone with information about either robbery should call state police in Westminster, 848-3111.