- The Washington Times - Friday, August 6, 2004

An armored-car courier was fatally shot outside a bank yesterday during one of three different attempts at bank robbery in the region.

The shooting occurred at about 1 p.m. outside a BB&T; Bank at 3505 Hamilton St. in Hyattsville, said Prince George’s County police spokesman Cpl. Robert Clark. The suspects shot the courier, who was not identified, and attempted to make off with a bag of cash.

“The suspects tried to drive away in their getaway vehicle when another security officer who was still inside an armored truck rammed the getaway vehicle,” said Lt. Steve Yuen of the Prince George’s County Police. “The suspects got out and ran around the corner.”

The guard died later at a hospital.

An 18-year-old D.C. man on his way to work witnessed the shooting.

“I was walking and I heard the gunshots,” the Northeast resident said. “I saw a flash and then I ducked down where I was.”

After some commotion, the teen looked up and saw the guard on the handicap ramp leading to the bank’s front door. The man was pale and losing a lot of blood, the teen said.

On May 27, a Chevy Chase Bank branch in Hyattsville was robbed, one of six heists in Prince George’s County and the District. Seven suspects were indicted in those cases this week.

Lt. Yuen said the task force investigating the serial bank robberies was at the scene yesterday. A link has not been determined.

Carol Daniel, a Safeway deli clerk from Riverdale, said robbers such as those in yesterday’s shooting have been encouraged by the serial bank holdups.

“It’s snowballing,” Miss Daniel said. “They know they’re going to get away with it.”

In the District yesterday, a man tried to rob two banks downtown.

The suspect first attempted to hold up the Adams National Bank branch at 15th and K streets NW.

“The subject entered the bank, passed the teller a note, and the note demanded money. The teller passed the note back and did not give him any money, and he left the bank,” said Lt. Eugene Bentley of the D.C. police.

“He walked around the corner [to] 1101 15th St. NW — passed the teller a note, maybe the same note — and demanded the money.”

The second attempt netted the suspect about $9,000. No weapon was displayed in either case, Lt. Bentley said.

“We know it’s the same subject from both banks,” Lt. Bentley said. Investigators also believe the same man may be responsible for other bank robberies in Northwest in which notes were passed.

Lt. Bentley said the robberies were unrelated to the Hyattsville robbery and were not linked to the serial bank robberies.

The suspects in the Hyattsville robbery fled the scene in a silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with Maryland plates HYT 076, Cpl. Clark said. The car has a rear spoiler and damage to one of the front hubcaps.

The suspects took the car from a woman after the armored car’s driver rammed the suspects’ initial getaway vehicle, a dark-colored sport utility vehicle.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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