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Suspects in bank robbery arrested

April 15, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Two alert bank tellers helped the Hagerstown Police Department catch two men accused of robbing First United Bank & Trust on 1751 Knightsbridge Drive on Friday, Lt. Rick Johnson said.

While the robbers' faces were masked, the tellers recognized the voice of one of the suspects, Johnson said.

Luis Antonio Maldonado, 18, of 17729 Virginia Ave., and his cousin, Jose Luis Maldonado, 23, of 11019 Coventry Lane, were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit robbery, four counts of general robbery, four counts of second-degree assault and one count of felony theft, Johnson said.

Two men entered the bank about 1 p.m. wearing ski masks and carrying BB guns designed to look like Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handguns, Johnson said. They ordered the four employees to the floor.

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There were no customers in the bank, at the corner of Frederick Street.

One man pointed his gun at employees while the other presented a bag to one of the employees, ordering her to fill it with money, Johnson said.

They stole an undetermined amount of money, he said.

No employees were injured.

Using the information from the tellers, police developed a suspect and began surveillance at the Coventry Lane home, Johnson said. While there, Detective Pat Moulton saw a car with a man matching Luis Maldonado's description leave the area and followed it, Johnson said.

About 3:10 p.m., the car was stopped at Valley Mall and Maldonado was taken to the police department, Johnson said. Maryland State Police assisted.

Meanwhile, Washington County Narcotics Task Force Agent Rich Schleigh arrived at the Coventry home, found Jose Maldonado and detained him until police detectives arrived, Johnson said.

An investigation found most of the money stolen in the robbery as well as the clothing worn and the guns used, Johnson said.

Both men were being held at the police department pending bond hearings before a Washington County District Court Commissioner.

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