When Maryland State Police arrested two men two weeks ago, they were confident that a recent series of bank robberies in the Abingdon area had been solved.
That confidence was shaken Monday when a gunman robbed Maryland National Bank in the Constant Friendship shopping center.
Since Nov. 18, bandits have held up eight county financial institutions, all within the Bel Air-to-Abingdon corridor along Routes 24 and 924.
The Maryland National branch was also robbed April 14.
In Monday's incident, the gunman followed a pattern similar to other area bank robberies, but Lt. David Sexton of the Bel Air barracks said the robber was more brazen.
"Usually the banks are relatively empty when the suspect enters," Lieutenant Sexton said. "But it was busy Monday, and he had to push a customer out of the way to get to the teller."
The man demanded money in $100 and $20 bills and, unlike in some of the previous robberies, took a dye pack that was concealed by bank employees in a stack of money.
The time -- 11:40 a.m. -- was consistent with previous robberies between 9 a.m. and noon.
The method of escape was similar to that in the other robberies, too.
The suspect was in the bank only about 90 seconds and dashed out, running behind a nearby supermarket.
"He just disappears," Lieutenant Sexton said.
Troopers and K-9 units searched each store, the shopping center roof, even the crawl space between store ceilings and the roof, but could not find the suspect.
A beer truck driver said a man raced by him at full tilt, and his description matched that given by bank employees.
"We don't know whether he is part of a group or not," Lieutenant Sexton said.
Authorities said the only certainty is that Richard Winn, 23, of Abingdon and Maurice Williams, 28, of Randallstown were not involved.
Mr. Winn and Mr. Williams were arrested May 4 and 5, respectively, on charges of robbing the Harco Maryland Federal Credit Union in the Constant Friendship shopping center Feb. 28.
They are being held at the county Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bond each.
Investigators said witnesses identified photographs of two men taken from videotapes taken from surveillance cameras at Harco.
The first of the run of bank robberies was at First Virginia Bank at 601 Edgewood Road Nov. 18.
One day later, the Havre de Grace branch of Harford National Bank was robbed.
A Fallston man, Peter John Binco, 28, was arrested on charges of robbing the Bank of Maryland at 139 N. Main St. in Bel Air on April 8.
State police do not believe the Bel Air robbery is connected to the others.
On Dec. 31 and Feb. 8, the Box Hill branch of Harford National Bank was robbed.
One person, a bank employee, has suffered a minor injury in the eight robberies.
State police said the employee apparently didn't move fast enough for the bandit.