FBI is seeking three men suspected in string of robberies at area banks

March 27, 2000|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

The FBI is looking for a gang of masked men that has robbed four Baltimore-area banks, including a holdup Friday in which the men forced everyone in a bank to lie on the floor at gunpoint while they raided the vault.

In each case, the banks were robbed by three men wearing cloth masks and latex gloves. Investigators said the gang has been getting increasingly aggressive and poses a threat for violence.

"Nobody's been hurt yet, but we're very concerned that sooner or later somebody will be hurt," said FBI Special Agent Peter A. Gullotta Jr. "They've been taking over the banks, and obviously there's a potential danger there when there's a gun involved."

Friday's robbery was at First Union Bank in the 1700 block of E. Northern Parkway. One of the men guarded the lobby, another took over the counter area and the third stood watch at the door, the FBI said.

Everyone in the bank, including an unarmed security guard, was forced at gunpoint to the floor while at least one of the robbers took a large amount of cash from the vault, investigators said. The thieves fled in an unidentified car.

The same men are believed to have twice robbed Mercantile Safe Deposit at 10801 Falls Road in Baltimore County on Feb. 4 and March 7. They also are suspected of robbing Allfirst Bank in the 300 block of St. Paul St. in downtown Baltimore on New Year's Eve, the FBI said.

Investigators are looking into several recent robberies at area businesses that might have been committed by the gang.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the FBI at 410-265-8080.

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