Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

October 20, 2005

Bank-robberies term imposed

A 21-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to five years and three months in prison by a federal judge yesterday for robbing two banks on successive days in Baltimore County and stealing more than $3,700. James Hall pleaded guilty to robbing Provident Bank in the 11000 block of York Road in Hunt Valley on Dec. 7 and the First Mariner Bank in the 1700 block of York Road in Lutherville on Dec. 8. Hall was arrested Dec. 11 after being stopped on a traffic violation. At the Days Inn Inner Harbor, prosecutors said, police found $1,700, clothing matching that shown in a surveillance photo and notes similar to those used in the holdups.

Man guilty in anthrax hoax

A 35-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge that he sent several threatening letters this year to courthouses and police stations - claiming they contained anthrax - and a bomb threat to an elementary school. Robert Darnell Finch faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced Jan. 5 for mailing a threatening communication. Between March 19 and 29, Finch sent six letters to two courthouses in Maryland, the Baltimore County Police Department, and police in Jamestown, Ky., and Kenai, Alaska, that contained a white, powdery substance that he claimed was anthrax. All the samples tested negative for anthrax. He sent a letter to a school in Jamestown, Ky., threatening to blow it up unless he was paid $75,000.

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