www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/forest-hill/ph-ag-sovereign-bank-robbery-0927-20130925,0,1602014.story

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Sovereign Bank in Forest Hill robbed by two masked men Wednesday

BY ERIKA BUTLER, ebutler@theaegis.com

4:24 PM EDT, September 26, 2013

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Two men wearing masks and brandishing handguns robbed Sovereign Bank at 2006 Rock Spring Road in Forest Hill shortly after noon Wednesday.

The robbers got away in what a Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesman says is an unusually brazen robbery. Because the men wore masks and were heavily clothed, as shown in surveillance camera footage, only a very general description of the two could be released to the public Thursday.

"In this case, these suspects took great pains to conceal their identities. They clearly came in with a blatant display of force. Clearly the manner in which they were dressed was to create fear and intimidation," Edward Hopkins, of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said Thursday. "It was further exacerbated by them having weapons and displaying weapons."

Harford County Sheriff's deputies responded to the bank at 12:24 p.m. Wednesday after getting a holdup alarm. When they arrived, witnesses told deputies the bank was robbed by two men wearing masks.

They said the suspects entered the bank wearing dark clothing and masks that obscured their faces. They each displayed a handgun and demanded money.

The bank tellers complied and turned over an undisclosed amount of cash to the suspects, who then fled the bank in an unknown direction. No customers were in the bank during the robbery and no one was injured.

At the sheriff's office request, Forest Lakes and Forest Hill elementary schools were put on lockdown for about 15 minutes while deputies searched the area to ensure it was safe. School operations resumed shortly after being put on lockdown, Hopkins said.

He called the photo of the two robbers holding up the guns "scary, compelling."

"By virtue of the photos, you see them coming in the bank, coming in with demonstrated intent," Hopkins said. "Most walk in low-key, don't want to draw attention to themselves."

In most instances, he explained, robbers simply want to get in unnoticed, demand the money and leave as quickly as they can. They may have a weapon, or infer one, but they're trying to be inconspicuous.

That wasn't the case Wednesday.

"It does appear to be more brazen," he said.

One suspect is described as a black man, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a thin build and broad shoulders. He was dressed in dark clothing. The second suspect is described as a black man, 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 9 inches tall with a medium build.

Anyone with any information, or who may have seen anything suspicious, is asked to call the Harford County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division at 410-836-5442.