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A man robbed a small bank on Main Street in downtown Annapolis yesterday afternoon, escaping with an undetermined amount of cash.

The robber walked into the Bank of Maryland at 145 Main St. five minutes before it was scheduled to close at 3 p.m., police said.

He lingered in the lobby until a bank employee approached him andasked whether he needed help, police said. The man then pulled out aweapon and demanded money. Police would not describe the weapon lastnight.

Business owners and passersby on Main Street were surprised by the robbery in the middle of the afternoon.

"That's the firsttime I ever heard of something like this happening right on Main Street," said Ted Levitt, owner of Chick & Ruth's Delly. "We have shoplifting sometimes here, the same as anywhere, but probably less than most places. There's not much crime usually right here."

Police described the robber as a black man in his mid-20s, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing about 225 pounds. He had close-cropped hair with a widow's peak and possibly a thin mustache, police said. He was wearing a black top coat, a brown, red and black plaid vest over a white shirt, and dark jeans.

A couple walking past the store at 3 p.m. said they saw a man matching this description run down an alley next to the bank.

"For Annapolis, this is unusual," said Ashley Smith, a sales clerk at Britches Great Outdoors for Women, next door to the bank. "It's a somewhat protected area around here."

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