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Three arrested in bank robberies

August 21, 1999|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Police made arrests Friday in two Hagerstown bank robberies, authorities said.

Maryland State Police charged Neal Patrick Wells Sr., 38, of Hagerstown, with robbery, theft and motor vehicle theft in connection with a July 21 robbery at the Maugans Avenue branch of Hagerstown Trust.

Cornell Maurice Georgie, 47, of Baltimore, was charged on Wednesday with robbery and theft in connection with the holdup.

Two men entered the Hagerstown Trust Bank at 18201 Maugans Ave. on July 21. One remained in the lobby while the other handed a teller a bag with a note attached demanding money.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the men fled the bank in a Pontiac Grand Am. The car was later found by a Washington County sheriff's deputy in the Washington Center parking lot at the intersection of Maugans and Pennsylvania avenues about one mile east of the bank.

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The Maryland State Police investigation included assistance from the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department and the Combined Criminal Investigative unit of Allegany County, authorities said.

Georgie was arrested in Baltimore and Wells was arrested in Cumberland, Md., police said.

They were being held Friday night at the Washington County Detention Center. Preliminary bond was set at $75,000 for Wells. Georgie was being held on $30,000 bond.

In the other robbery, David Brian Smith, 38, of no fixed address, was arrested around noon by Hagerstown City Police in the 600 block of North Mulberry Street. He was charged with robbery and theft over $300.

Smith, who was being held Friday night at the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond, was wearing the same clothes on Friday that he allegedly wore when the American Trust Bank on North Potomac Street was robbed last Monday.

According to charging documents filed in Washington County District Court, a man with gray sweatpants, a white T-shirt and black hair pulled into a ponytail walked to the drive-up window at American Trust at 32 N. Potomac St.

After borrowing a pen from the teller, the robber wrote a note saying: "I want all your money or I will shoot you."

The teller gave $4,205 in cash to the robber, who put it in a back shoulder bag he was carrying and then walked away, according to charging documents. The stolen money has not been recovered.

A surveillance camera at the bank took clear pictures of the robber. About a dozen people called police with tips about his whereabouts, authorities said.

A member of the Hagerstown City Police Criminal Investigation Division, who would not give his name, said the robber called family members from a pay phone in Hagerstown.

They gave the number to police investigators, who called it and talked with Smith, police said.

"We called and talked to him and picked him up," said the officer, who added Smith cooperated during the arrest.

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