Man waits in line to rob bank

May 24, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A man who had stood waiting his turn in line with other customers robbed a Jessup bank yesterday after showing the teller the muzzle of a handgun, Howard County police said.

Howard County police said the Signet Bank in the 8600 block of Route 1 was robbed about 1:50 p.m. yesterday, just 10 minutes before closing time.

The suspect passed the teller a note demanding cash and then showed her the muzzle of a gun he had hidden in a bag. He took an undisclosed amount of money and walked out of the bank, said police Lt. Timothy Branning.

About 10 people, including customers and employees, were inside the bank at the time, but no one was injured and no shots were fired, Lieutenant Branning said.

The bank is next to a row of stores in the Columbia Junction Shopping Center.

Nearby shop owners and maintenance employees working in the lot at the shopping center said they had seen nothing unusual at the time of the robbery.

The robbery was largely unnoticed even by customers in the bank.

"I heard a murmur, like, 'Hurry up, hurry up,' " said Tracy Rocca, who was standing about 2 feet behind the suspect in the teller's line. "But you wouldn't have known anything was wrong."

Ms. Rocca and Crystal Lambert, a co-worker, were in the bank depositing money for their employer, A & E Foods Inc. in North Laurel.

"It scares the hell out of me to think about it," Ms. Rocca said. "I had a lot of money on me.

"He could have turned right around at me."

The women said they were questioned by Howard County detectives and FBI agents for at least an hour after the robbery.

County crime laboratory technicians polished the outside door of the bank and other areas for fingerprints and the note the suspect handed the teller also was recovered.

"After it's all said and done, it's scary," said Ms. Lambert. "He could have taken somebody with him. He did have a gun."

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