Montgomery County police are looking for a man who attempted to rob an armored truck yesterday outside a Silver Spring bank.
The attempted robbery occurred at about 8:55 a.m. when a man approached a Dunbar Armored truck courier who had just completed a delivery to the Bank of America at 10151 Colesville Road, police said.
Officer Derek Baliles, a Montgomery County police spokesman, said the driver recognized the holdup when the courier opened the back door and was forced to the ground by the man. The driver sped off.
The robber chased the vehicle a short distance, “then fled in an unknown direction,” Officer Baliles said.
Police said Dunbar’s company policy instructs drivers to drive away to avoid a robbery.
No money was taken, and neither employee was injured. However, the courier’s gun was stolen.
Police are also looking for two men who went from good Samaritans to suspected shoplifters in the incident.
When the courier could not contact police on his cell phone, he ran to a nearby CVS store and asked two men standing outside to call 911, police said. The men went inside and had store employees call police, then shoplifted during the excitement and fled in a black Dodge Neon, police said.
Initial news reports incorrectly stated the robbery occurred outside the CVS store and the gunman fled in the Neon.
The armed suspect is described as a black man, 28- to 34-years-old, about 5-feet-9-inches tall and 180 pounds. He was wearing a light-blue, button-down shirt and dark blue shorts. Witnesses initially described the outfit as a postal worker uniform, but they did not know how he fled.
An investigator said at least one recent robbery in the area included information about somebody involved wearing clothing that resembled a postal uniform.
County police are working with the FBI on the case — Maryland’s second armored-truck robbery this year. The other occurred July 1 in Lanham, FBI officials said.
There were six armored-truck robberies last year in Maryland, including one in Silver Spring and one in Prince George’s County. There was one in 2003 and two in 2002.
Police said it is too early to determine whether the attempted robbery yesterday is connected to the one in Prince George’s County in August, when a courier was fatally shot outside a bank. The robbery of an armored truck is a federal offense and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The use of a gun is a separate violation, FBI officials said.