Repeat offender convicted of robbery in bank heist that went awry

December 20, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

June 18 wasn't Alfred S. Lee's day -- and yesterday wasn't so good either.

Back in June, the 28-year-old South Baltimore man robbed a Towson bank, but was spotted by a Baltimore County prosecutor who chased him in his car until police caught him -- literally red-handed from exploding dye -- a few moments later.

Yesterday, he was convicted of robbery and theft by a Baltimore County jury. Because he has been convicted twice before of robbery, and once of second-degree rape, he faces a 25-year term under the state's repeat-offender statute when Circuit Judge J. William Hinkel sentences him Jan. 15.

Prosecutors said Lee of the 2600 block of Pierpoint St. went unarmed to a NationsBank branch at York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue on June 18 and demanded cash from a teller, who refused.

"So he vaulted over the counter, reached in the cash drawer, took [$680] and unknowingly took a dye pack," said Assistant State's Attorney Angela R. White, who prosecuted Lee.

Her co-worker, Assistant State's Attorney Isaiah Dixon III, was stopped at a red light in his car at the same intersection as Lee was leaving the bank. When he saw people chasing the robber, Dixon honked his horn and drove through the red light in pursuit.

As Lee ran south on York Road, the dye pack exploded, reddening his hands and creating a flurry of pink smoke, White said.

When he ran into a dead-end alley near Towson Library, Dixon blocked him with his car and said, "Look, you might as well give it up," according to prosecutors.

Minutes later, a police officer leaving the nearby Towson District Court held Lee at gunpoint until Baltimore County Cpl. Ben Grimm arrived and arrested him.

Pub Date: 12/20/96

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