Olney man pleads guilty to 2 robberies

He had held up teller at Lisbon bank in September, October

March 27, 2002|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

An Olney man who robbed the same Lisbon bank - and the same teller - twice within a month pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of common law robbery and faces a potential 20-year prison term.

Jeffrey Wayne Malcolm, 45, who has a history of drug convictions, confessed to the robberies of September and October after investigators tracked him to an Elkridge motel a day after the second holdup, prosecutors said.

The new convictions carry a maximum 30-year prison term, but Deputy State's Attorney I. Matthew Campbell and defense attorney Jason A. Shapiro are asking Howard Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure to cap any term at 20 years.

Leasure said yesterday that she would allow Malcolm to withdraw his plea if she feels a stiffer penalty is warranted.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

Malcolm, who was released from prison in August 2000 after serving time for drug possession and breaking and entering convictions, was identified as the robber after a motorist who saw him bolt from the bank followed his car on Old Frederick Road and copied part of the car's license plate, Campbell said yesterday.

The prosecutor said Malcolm had robbed the same teller at Westminster Union Bank in the 15900 block of Old Frederick Road on Sept. 20 and Oct. 11.

The first time, Campbell said, teller Deborah Nicholson was handed a note that said, "This is a hold up. I have a gun. Give me your 100s, 50s and 20s." The robber made off with $7,600.

The second time, Malcolm walked up to Nicholson's window, handed the teller a similar note and took $1,550, Campbell said.

Both times, he asked for the note back, the prosecutor. Both times, he also covered part of his face with a handkerchief, Campbell said.

When motorist Gary Radford saw Malcolm run from the bank Oct. 11, Radford followed the Olney man's silver Ford Taurus, but broke off pursuit when Malcolm, who was driving at up to 80 mph, began to run traffic signals, Campbell said.

By that time, Radford had managed to get a few numbers and letters off the tag - enough for investigators to make a match.

Police attempted to box Malcolm in as he left his mother's home in the 18100 block of Darnell Drive that day, but he broke through the cars and drove off. Investigators found him at the Tip Top motel on U.S. 1 the next day, Campbell said.

Malcolm admitted committing both robberies and said he used the money to support a $400-a-day cocaine habit, Campbell said.

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