Bank group sets reward in robberies

February 11, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

The Maryland Bankers Association is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a robber who has hit 10 Baltimore-area banks since Jan. 3.

The 10th robbery occurred about 1:10 p.m. yesterday at the Provident Bank of Maryland in the 5700 block of Ritchie Highway in Brooklyn Park.

The robber struck while an unarmed security guard was taking a break outside the bank. The suspect quietly approached a teller and demanded $50 and $100 bills, said Andy Manning, an FBI spokesman.

Unlike in the other robberies, the man did not threaten to harm the teller during yesterday's bank robbery. In the previous nine robberies, the man leaned over the counter and threatened to shoot the tellers if they did not comply with his orders. He has not displayed a weapon, but his actions have suggested that he was carrying a gun under his coat, authorities said.

Authorities say the suspect has robbed three banks in Baltimore City; four in Baltimore County; two in Anne Arundel County; and one in Howard County.

"From time to time, you have a leading thorn in the side of our industry," said Wayne Kirwan, vice president of the bankers association. "And now he's the thorn."

A Bank Robbery Task Force of bank officials, the FBI and police has been formed to handle the robberies. The robber has left few leads for the task force to follow.

"He's becoming a real problem," Mr. Manning said. "He's real badly wanted."

So far, the robbery suspect has been blamed for 10 of this year's 28 bank robberies in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

There were 228 bank robberies in the area last year.

The robbery suspect's photograph has been captured clearly on a number of bank cameras.

He is described as a black male, 30 to 35 years old, about 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 270 pounds. He usually wears a knit ski cap pulled over his ears, a dark parka or pea coat and gold wire-rimmed prescription glasses with light-sensitive lenses.

According to the FBI, the man has employed the same method in all the robberies:

The man waits in line to see a teller, then leans on the counter and quietly tells the teller that he has a gun and to put $50s and $100s in a bag.

In the first nine robberies, he threatened to "blow off" the tellers' heads if they did not comply with his demands, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the suspect should call the FBI at 281-0208.

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