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2 suspects held in bank robbery 3rd man sought


A gun-wielding bank manager chased two bandits into the woods behind his bank Wednesday, firing at least one round into the air as the thieves fled, police said.

County police later arrested one suspect at a gas station across the street from the bank and another after a manhunt in the woods behind the Atlantic Federal Savings Bank branch in the 3800 block of Mountain Road. They have issued an arrest warrant for a third man.

This is the second time the bank, in the same block as the Eastern District police station, has been robbed within a month, police said. In an Aug. 11 robbery, two men held up the bank as officers were changing shifts. Two suspects were captured within minutes with the money.

In Wednesday's robbery, witnesses told police that two men walked into the bank about 11:30 a.m. One of them gave a teller $100 in small bills and asked for a $100 bill. After the teller gave the man the money, he asked if it was real, then jumped over the counter and told the teller to remove any dye packs from her drawer.

The clerk complied, and the man began taking money from the cash drawer and putting it into a black backpack while the second man stood against a wall holding a gun on the tellers and patrons. The first man moved to a second teller and repeated the process.

The men fled as Patrick Lansey, the bank manager, chased them. Police said the round Mr. Lansey fired did not injure anyone. Mr. Lansey could not be reached for comment.

Witnesses also told police that they saw a red Subaru with temporary tags parked across the street from the bank. The car left just after the robbery and was seen moving slowly along Mountain Road as if looking for someone, police said.

Police spotted the car, which police suspected was to be used for a getaway, later at a Shell gas station across the street from the bank. They arrested the driver, Kedrick Artimus Mitchell, 18, of the 100 block of Key Ave. in Baltimore.

Police also surrounded the woods behind the bank and launched a search with 20 officers, two police dogs and a state police helicopter. Six hours later, they arrested Sylvester Stevens, 35, of the 3400 block of Parkington Ave. in Baltimore as he left the woods behind the Chesterfield Plaza community.

Mr. Mitchell is being held at the county detention center in lieu of $100,000 bail and Mr. Stevens is being held without bond, both on charges of armed robbery.

A third suspect, who police say jumped over the bank counter and grabbed the money, is still at large.

Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Byron Lester Smoot, 34, of the 400 block of Townsend Ave., Brooklyn, on robbery charges.

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