2 Baltimore County banks robbed

June 09, 1994|By Glenn Small and Larry Carson | Glenn Small and Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writers

A pair of bank robberies, one involving an intensive search through quiet, residential Rodgers Forge, and a teen-ager speeding through Towson's busiest intersection in a stolen car kept Baltimore County police hopping yesterday.

The Rodgers Forge search did not yield any suspects but three men were arrested several hours later in Baltimore.

The three incidents in the York Road corridor occurred within three hours, starting with two bank robberies a few minutes apart.

About 10 a.m., two men wearing pullover knit masks and surgical gloves and armed with semiautomatic Tech-9 handguns entered the Maryland National Bank branch at 6700 York Road, police said.

One man, dressed in a multicolored sweat suit, approached the guard, put a handgun to his chest and demanded the guard's .357-caliber Magnum revolver. The second man, wearing dark clothing, stood at the door and ordered everyone in the bank to stay put, while calling out times to his companion. Police did not say how many people were in the bank.

The men, in their 20s, ordered the head teller to open the vault. One grabbed money, including a dye pack, and put it in a gray duffel bag.

After forcing the teller and guard into the vault, the men fled west on Dunkirk Road into the heart of Rodgers Forge, pursued by the unarmed guard.

Squad cars and a police helicopter converged on the area, looking for the suspects.

Witnesses told police two men ran down Dunkirk Road and got into a black 1989 Toyota pickup truck at Heathfield Road with two other man and fled.

Yesterday afternoon, two men who fit the descriptions of the holdup men were arrested in a rental car in the 2300 block of Eutaw Place by county detectives, city police and FBI agents.

"The bank guard's gun and other evidence linked to the crime were recovered in the car," said county police spokesman E. Jay Miller.

A third man was arrested in West Baltimore about an hour later. The men were taken to county police headquarters in Towson for questioning. A fourth suspect was being sought.

About the same time as the Rodgers Forge holdup, a Provident Bank branch in Yorkridge Shopping Center in Lutherville -- about six miles north -- was robbed. A man, who implied he had a weapon, demanded cash.

The man fled after taking an undisclosed amount of money.

Also yesterday, a teen-ager careened through central Towson in a stolen car, leading police into a nearby neighborhood where he wrecked the car after scattering several pedestrians.

The incident started about 12:45 p.m. where Dulaney Valley, York and Joppa roads meet, after two plainclothes city officers recognized a 1991 Honda Accord sedan as being stolen and banged on the car for the driver to get out.

Donna Morrison, a county worker eating lunch at a nearby fast-food restaurant, said the southbound Honda, which had been stopped at the traffic light on Dulaney Valley Road, sped off.

Police and witnesses said the driver raced east on Joppa Road, sending pedestrians scrambling atop a concrete wall at the edge of Towson Town Center parking garage.

The driver turned right into Virginia Avenue, a block east of the intersection.

Larry Nowakowski and Sharon Collier, who live in the block, said the car bounced off a curb and the teen-age driver slammed on the brakes.

Mr. Nowakowski said the driver looked at him, "floored it" and turned right, bouncing off a telephone pole and through a hedge into a parking lot between two houses in the 500 block of Virginia Ave.

The car squeezed between a telephone pole and a tree, clipped the corner of a garage and slid to a halt at the edge of fast-food restaurant parking lot

"I just prayed," Ms. Collier said.

Mr. Nowakowski said the youth put the car into reverse and rammed a parked car.

The Honda, stolen in Prince George's County Saturday, had a flat rear tire, and was damaged on the driver's side.

The youth jumped out of the car and ran before officers arrived. He was apprehended about 20 minutes later near Burke Avenue and York Road, several blocks south. Police said they were investigating the incident to determine what charges might be placed against the juvenile.

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