The robber of the Benson post office on Connolly Road Saturday is believed to be the same man who robbed that post office in December 2012, police investigators say..
An attempted robbery that also occurred Saturday, at the Sovereign Bank branch just south of Bel Air, is not believed to be related to the post office crime, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office. The bank robbery is, however, likely to be connected to two earlier robberies at the same Sovereign Bank branch.
As of Monday, the Harford County Sheriff's Office had no updates on either of the latest robberies. A gun was involved in both.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Edward Hopkins said witness descriptions point to the same suspect in the two robberies of the post office, neither of which has been solved.
Hopkins said it does seem unusual for a post office to be robbed. He said suspects who return to the same site may be familiar with how the institution works, who comes and goes and the times of peak usage. They may also understand police patrol hours.
"There is a certain comfort level, plus there's always the unexpected," Hopkins said. "I don't know why a robber has picked [a post office]. Why wouldn't a robber go for something that is more financially rewarding?"
In the bank robberies, Hopkins said, witnesses seem to be describing the same suspect, but no official link has been made yet by detectives.
The same Sovereign Bank was robbed in December 2012 and January 2013.
Hopkins said patrols will be stepped up at the post office and police will focus on preventing crime at those specific sites.
Hopkins also said he hopes detectives will come up with a reward offer or other incentive that gets someone to step forward.
"Someone has to know something in these cases. There's always someone that knows something," he said.
Attempted bank holdup
In the attempted bank robbery, the manager was opening the bank, in the 1800 block of Emmorton Road, for the day around 9 a.m. when a white man, wearing blue jeans, a plaid shirt, dark hat, dust mask and sunglasses, approached her, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.
The manager told investigators the man, who was hiding in the bushes, rushed toward her showing a black handgun, according to the release.
The manager was able to secure the inner door of the bank and the suspect ran off in an unknown direction without taking any money, according to the release.
No further information was available. The bank manager was not injured.
A gunman also held up the bank Dec. 17, and it was hit again 18 days later.
On Dec. 17, the robber was described as a white man in his 40s who was wearing a hard hat, a dust or surgical mask, blue jeans, work boots and a plaid flannel shirt. He ran off to the rear of the bank.
At about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 4, the bank was robbed by a man who carried a black "bullpup" style pistol grip, short-barreled shotgun that he had concealed under his jacket. He ordered the tellers behind the counters to open the cash drawers.
He left with an undisclosed amount of cash in an unknown direction, according to police. A surveillance photo of the robber was later circulated to the media.
Post office holdup
Around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, sheriff's deputies responded to the Benson branch of the U.S. Post Office at 108 Connolly Road for a report of an armed robbery.
The suspect, described as a white man wearing camouflage pants and shirt, sunglasses and a hat entered the post office armed with a handgun, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release. He announced a robbery, jumped the counter and removed an undetermined amount of cash from the facility before running off toward the 1800 block of Harford Road. Deputies saturated the area in an attempt to find the robber, but were unsuccessful.
No further information was available. No post office employees were injured during the robbery.
The previous robbery at the Benson Post Office occurred around 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 12, when a white man entered the post office and posed as a customer. As the postal worker opened the cash register, the man pulled out a handgun. He then reached over the counter and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the register.
Witnesses described the robber then as being 30 to 35 years old, 6 feet, 1 inch to 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 190 to 200 pounds. The man was wearing blue pants with red stitching on the sides, a gray pullover hooded sweat shirt, black baseball hat and dark sunglasses.
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He also fled on foot toward Harford Road but was not captured.