Police provide details of holdup in Crofton

four are in custody

February 24, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A customer was kicked in the back and an employee slapped in the face by gun-waving robbers, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday, offering new details on the holdup at a Crofton bank and a foiled getaway in which gunshots hit a police car during a high-speed chase.

Four suspects from the Washington area -- one of them a 15-year-old boy -- remained in custody, charged with numerous offenses in the Tuesday morning holdup and chase.

Police said the boy was in the bank with two older men, taking part in the holdup, while the fourth person -- a 19-year-old -- waited in a red Plymouth Neon stolen earlier in the day in Prince George's County.

Whether the boy will be tried as an adult or face juvenile proceedings has not been decided. He was being held at Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County.

Police said the juvenile is not related to the three other suspects -- Gerry Lee Osborne of Suitland, who is accused of driving the getaway car; Kenneth Collins, 31, of Washington; and Tayyib Majihid Walii, 20, of Silver Spring.

Undercover county police detectives -- part of stepped-up patrols that started Tuesday morning of banks in the Crofton area -- were driving onto the parking lot outside First Union in Crofton Center when three masked bandits ran out and jumped into the Plymouth.

As the car was pursued north on Route 3, one of the robbers leaned out the front passenger window and fired at least two shots at police -- grazing the windshield of a marked cruiser.

The chase ended as the Plymouth ran off Millersville Road at a sharp curve near Waterbury Road and into a wooded area. Two of the suspects were arrested immediately, and two others were found hiding behind nearby houses, police said.

Police also searched through the afternoon for another person, but no other suspect was found.

While the search was under way, another county bank was being robbed -- the Annapolis Federal branch on McKinsey Road in Severna Park, where a man claiming to have a bomb and gun escaped with an undisclosed amount of money about 1 p.m.

According to police, the robber ordered four bank employees to the floor, vaulted over the counter and took money from teller drawers, said Lt. Jeffrey A. Kelly, a county police spokesman.

Before speeding off in a two-tone blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the robber told bank employees a bomb would explode if they called police.

There was no bomb, and the robber never showed a weapon, Kelly said.

Two guns were recovered from the Crofton holdup -- a .45-caliber semiautomatic and a 9 mm gun that police said were waved as the bandits ordered three customers and five employees to the floor.

No one required hospital treatment, police said.

Collins, who police said fired the shots during the chase, was being held without bail yesterday at the county detention center in Annapolis. Also held there were Osborne and Walii, each with bail set at $1,048,148, Kelly said.

All were charged with various counts of armed robbery, assault, auto theft and weapons offenses.

Authorities would not disclose the amount taken from First Union, but said police recovered thousands of dollars from the getaway car.

Kristin Riggin, spokeswoman for the county state's attorney's office, said no decision has made on trying the teen-ager as an adult.

He will remain at Cheltenham pending a juvenile hearing March 23, she said.

The FBI was investigating whether the suspects are linked to six bank robberies in Prince George's and Montgomery counties that began in December, according to Peter A. Gulotta Jr., a spokesman for the FBI's Maryland office.

Kelly said five bank robberies have occurred in Anne Arundel this year; 29 occurred last year.

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