Parolee sought in bank robberies

February 16, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A man paroled in 1993 after serving six years for bank robbery is being sought by authorities who suspect him of robbing as many as 10 Baltimore-area banks since Jan. 3, the FBI said.

Henry Darnell Johnson Jr., 35, of the 2400 block of S. Paca St., was identified as a suspect after a former teller whom he had robbed seven years ago recognized a bank surveillance photo printed in The Sun, according to a federal affidavit.

"She put us on to him. She apparently never forgot his face," FBI spokesman Andy Manning said of Mr. Johnson, who was paroled last March.

The photo was then shown to several other people who knew Mr. Johnson. They also identified him, Mr. Manning said.

Mr. Johnson was imprisoned for robbing the First National Bank in Parkville on Jan. 20, 1987, the affidavit said. He was paroled in March 1993, the affidavit said.

The teller in that robbery, who was not identified, called authorities after reading last week about a robber who had held up three banks in Baltimore City, four in Baltimore County, two in Anne Arundel County and one in Howard County.

The Howard robbery occurred Jan. 25 at the Commercial & Farmers Bank in the 8500 block of Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City.

Mr. Johnson is charged in a warrant with that robbery, which yielded less than $3,000, and is considered a suspect in the others, police investigators said.

In nine of the robberies, the hold-up man did not show a weapon but told employees that he was carrying one and would shoot them if they didn't follow orders, the FBI said.

In the most recent robbery, on Thursday at the Provident Bank in Brooklyn Park, he did not make any threats but demanded $50 and $100 bills, the FBI said.

The robber often wore a knit ski cap pulled over his ears, a dark parka or pea coat and gold wire-rimmed prescription glasses with light-sensitive lenses.

Police and FBI agents tried to surprise Mr. Johnson about 6:20 a.m. Monday at his South Baltimore home, city police said. He apparently spotted authorities outside and sped away in his car.

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