Dunbar armored car driver accused of staging robbery of fellow worker Ex-high school friend also arrested in March 20 theft

April 01, 1997|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

An armored car driver who asked for the day off to drive his girlfriend to a doctor was arrested yesterday and accused of using his free time to stage a $460,000 robbery of a fellow employee outside a McDonald's restaurant he normally serviced.

Dana Maurice Jackson, 29, who also is a former Baltimore police trainee, was arrested at his home in the 4000 block of Sinclair Lane after his alleged partner -- a former high school buddy who also was taken into custody -- bragged to an acquaintance about the March 20 robbery, authorities said.

The acquaintance called the FBI after seeing a sketch of the suspects in The Sun and reading that Dunbar Armored Inc. was offering a reward, according to an FBI affidavit filed in Baltimore's federal court.

The arrests of Jackson and Daren Lee Grant, 28, of the 1200 block of Windemere Ave. were announced at a news conference where some of the armored car loot was displayed -- more than $100,000. Some of the money was still in Federal Reserve Bank wrappers.

Federal agents and Baltimore police recovered the money in raids early yesterday at four city apartments, according to David R. Knowlton, head of the regional FBI office.

Authorities were searching for more than $300,000 that remained missing and for two other suspects in the robbery scheme -- one of them a woman who drove a getaway car.

The FBI said Jackson normally drove a route that included the McDonald's at 29th Street and Greenmount Avenue, and knew that the armored car would be carrying tens of thousands of dollars from Signet Bank and other financial institutions.

Days earlier, the driver had called his supervisor at Dunbar and asked "to work reduced hours" March 20, for an unspecified reason. The request was denied, authorities said, adding that Jackson called the Dunbar office at 5: 30 the morning of the robbery, saying he had to take his girlfriend to a doctor.

Shortly after 9 a.m., two robbers -- neither wearing a mask -- pistol-whipped Dunbar guard Lisa Jones, 26, and left her bound in the back of the truck. The other guard, Thomas Charles, 34, was ordered to drive several blocks to a car where a female accomplice was waiting, police said.

Jackson had worked as a driver for Dunbar since Oct. 24, 1995, according to court records. Before that, he attended the Baltimore Police Academy and worked as a city police trainee from May 5 to June 22, 1994.

He dropped out of the program for unknown reasons, according to Sgt. Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a city police spokesman.

Jackson and Grant were being held yesterday on a federal charge of interference with commerce by threats or violence.

Pub Date: 4/01/97

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