The robbers knew to show up as workers came in to open the M&T Bank in Dundalk, authorities say. And as the armed man and his fiancee forced a teller to unlock the safe at the branch, they say, she was horrified to learn that they also knew her son's name.
The pair made off with more than $130,000 in the October heist, authorities said in federal court documents this week, making it one of the largest bank robberies that Baltimore County officials can remember.
Something else stood out: One of the suspects had previously worked at the branch.
One employee was accosted in the parking lot and forced to walk in at gunpoint, the documents said. The suspects allegedly threatened to blow off the head of another.
FBI statistics show the average bank robbery typically yields a small fraction of what was taken from the M&T Bank: about $4,000.
"This is an unusually large amount," Deputy State's Attorney John Cox said. "I've never seen an amount that high."
Authorities charged Darrius Roszario D. Washington, 20, and Janaya B. Person-Robinson, 19, both of Baltimore, in the robbery. They were indicted in federal court this month and also face charges in Baltimore County.
Neither has previously been linked to violent crime.
Person-Robinson had worked at the branch, was familiar with the bank's operating procedures and knew the employees, authorities say. She does not have a lawyer listed in court records. Washington's attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Employees at the branch also declined to comment.
Robert McCrie, professor of security management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the robbery was unusual.
"The typical bank robber will go to the counter, will look very much like a regular customer, pass a note, threaten that he has a weapon, grab a few hundred and take off," McCrie said.
For that reason, he said, most banks will limit the amount of cash that can be kept at a single teller station. If a customer comes in with a deposit that exceeds that limit, the teller usually is instructed to shut down the window and put it in a separate safe.
But at the M&T Bank branch, he said, the suspects were able to "time the crime and stage the crime in a way that would get the most return."
County police say Washington stopped one employee walking from her car. They say he brandished a handgun and forced her to take him inside. He allegedly put the gun to her back and ordered her to unlock the door without looking at him.
When the teller told Washington she couldn't because there were people in the foyer where the ATM is located, he said he knew she was lying and threatened to "blow her head off," authorities say in court documents.
Once inside, authorities say, Washington pointed a gun at the teller and forced her to the bank vault and made her open it, telling her she would never see her son again if she did not.
She opened the vault, authorities say, and Washington filled up a large cloth bag he had brought. The couple fled through a back door.
After an employee called police from outside, an officer stopped the couple's car on nearby Kinship Road, authorities say.
They say Washington told police, "Just shoot me. Kill me. The girl didn't have anything to do with it. The gun wasn't even loaded. Just kill me now, somebody made me rob the bank, the gun wasn't mine."
Police say he had $500 in $5 bills in his sweatshirt, and behind the driver's seat they found the cloth bag with $133,590 in cash and an unloaded .38-caliber revolver under the seat.
The couple later confessed to police, authorities say. The bank surveillance cameras recorded the incident.