Bank holdup, chase end in Harford man's arrest

Suspect in 2 Pa. robberies is captured after theft in Maryland yesterday

January 06, 1999|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

A man charged with robbing a Pennsylvania bank Dec. 23 -- who is also suspected of robbing a second Pennsylvania bank Monday -- was arrested last night at his mother's home in White Hall, said a spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Police said the suspect fits the description of a man who robbed a Baltimore County bank yesterday.

Lt. Edward Hopkins said an anonymous tip that the suspect -- Carl Vinson Rafferty, 27, of White Hall -- was in his mother's house in the 4700 block of Amoss Road led authorities to the dwelling.

Hopkins said sheriff's deputies and Pennsylvania State Police surrounded the house about 7 o'clock last night. After officers talked to the suspect's mother, Rafferty walked out of the house unarmed about 10 minutes later, police said. He was arrested without incident.

"The capture went down without anyone being injured, and the suspect was immediately taken to the Harford County Detention Center, where he's being held without bail awaiting extradition back to Pennsylvania," said Hopkins.

Police believe Rafferty was the driver of a blue 1981 Chevrolet Chevette that led Baltimore County and Pennsylvania State Police on a chase yesterday after the Sparks Bank in the northern Baltimore County community of Maryland Line was robbed about noon. The Chevette had been stolen in Havre de Grace last month, Hopkins said.

The Chevette was abandoned yesterday after it overturned in a cornfield and slid into a woods near the Jolly Acres Summer Camp near Norrisville in Harford County, police said.

Rafferty was charged in a warrant with robbing a bank Dec. 23 in Fawn Grove, Pa., and is a suspect in the robbery of a Peach Bottom, Pa., bank on Monday, authorities said.

In recent days, Pennsylvania authorities had been in close contact with law enforcement officials in Baltimore and Harford counties in an effort to apprehend Rafferty. Although witnesses gave no description of the suspect's vehicle after yesterday's robbery in Maryland Line, investigators continued searching for the Chevette.

The robber of the Sparks Bank branch was described as a white male, about 24, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and thin mustache, and wearing a pea-green sweat shirt, according to Bill Toohey, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Toohey said the robber in yesterday's holdup hinted that he had a weapon but did not show one. A Baltimore County detective in an unmarked car later spotted the stolen Chevette, attempted to follow it before losing it, and later came upon it in the cornfield, police said.

By then, Pennsylvania State Police had begun their pursuit with helicopters and dogs.

Pub Date: 1/06/99

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