Detective is charged in bank holdup Suspect used money to pay overdue mortgage, police say

He denies the allegation

Possible involvement in other robberies under investigation

November 01, 1995|By Peter Hermann and Michael James | Peter Hermann and Michael James,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer TaNoah V. Sterling contributed to this article.

A veteran Baltimore police detective charged with robbing a Glen Burnie bank Monday and being investigated in other holdups is accused of using the stolen money to pay off overdue mortgage payments on his house, police said yesterday.

Detective William F. Huebler, 41, was ordered held in an undisclosed jail until a federal judge decides the issue of bail at a detention hearing scheduled for Friday. He is charged with one count of bank robbery.

The court documents say the officer denied robbing the Provident Bank of Maryland and told federal agents that he spent the day losing $2,000 at the Laurel Park racetrack. "Huebler stated that he enjoys gambling," the documents said.

FBI agents arrested Detective Huebler at his Baltimore County townhouse Monday night. This capped a day in which police said they suspect he took a sick day, robbed two banks in suburban Baltimore and paid off his mortgage in Virginia within five hours.

As the suspect allegedly was taking care of his financial woes, FBI agents and local police were closing in. They showed bank surveillance photos to his police colleagues and traced the alleged getaway car to his mother's house in Carney.

Now, police said, they are investigating the officer's possible involvement in at least five other holdups in Baltimore and Bethesda, and in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. One of the robberies took place three hours before the Glen Burnie holdup. Police said all have occurred since January and, typically, between $3,000 and $4,000 was stolen.

The officer is the second city detective in two years to be charged with bank robbery. In 1993, a robbery investigator was charged in a 1991 holdup. He was later convicted.

Detective Huebler, assigned to the auto theft unit, was suspended with pay yesterday. If he is released on bail, his pay could be revoked.

At yesterday's court appearance, the officer's lawyer, Henry L. Belsky, asked that his client be held away from the general prison population for his safety.

Mr. Belsky said that the 15-year veteran has "a clean, clean record."

Court papers filed in U.S. District Court yesterday charged the detective with walking into a branch of the Provident Bank of Maryland in the 5700 block of Ritchie Highway and handing a teller a note that stated, "Give me everything in the drawer and I won't hurt you."

When the tell took out $1,000, according to court papers, the suspect said, "Give me everything in the drawer," and demanded $100 and $50 denominations. The teller put the money on the counter, and police said he "picked it up with his right hand and shoved it under his sweater," the documents said. Police said $2,715 was taken.

Outside the bank, police said a witness noticed the suspect walking fast. The witness discovered that the bank had been robbed, followed the man and asked if he had just committed the holdup.

The suspect denied it, and the witness told him to return to the bank because people "were looking for him." Court papers said the suspect responded: "They're all looking for me" and drove off in a Buick Skylark. The witness wrote down the license plate number.

Police traced the car to the Baltimore County house of the detective's mother. She told investigators that her son had her car that day.

FBI agents then staked out Stone Park Place in the Seven Courts community of Oakhurst. About 7 p.m., they said the Buick pulled in and the detective went into a two-story red brick house with his 10-year-old son. At first, police said he refused to open the door. He invited the agents inside about 7:15 p.m.

There, according to court papers, he denied robbing the bank, but said that he had withdrawn $2,400 from another Provident Bank branch in Northeast Baltimore and lost $2,000 betting on five races at Laurel race course.

After agents arrested the detective, they found a receipt dated Monday showing that he had paid $8,080.40 to Shapiro and Burnson, a mortgage company in Virginia, court papers said.

A foreclosure specialist told police that the detective was in the office between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. and paid seven months of back mortgage -- using a cashier's check for $3,000 and the rest in cash.

Court documents say that nine of 10 prerecorded bills -- used by banks as "bait" to help police trace stolen cash and given to the suspect who robbed the Provident Bank -- turned up in the pile of money used to pay the mortgage.

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