Federal investigators say the head teller of a College Park credit union thought she had the perfect ruse: get a friend to rob the bank and pretend to be a helpless employee stuck in the vault.
But authorities have charged the teller, April Montague, 23, of Columbia and her boyfriend, Robert English, 23, of Baltimore in the robbery of the State Employee Credit Union of Maryland in the 9000 block of Route 1 in College Park on Thursday.
"We feel that this is strictly an inside job," said Special Agent Larry K. Foust, an FBI spokesman. He would not disclose the amount of money stolen.
Authorities are searching for a man they believe was the gunman who held up the bank two hours after it closed at 3 p.m. The FBI released a photo yesterday of Marques W. Boyer, 25, who lives in the 3700 block of Springdale Ave. in Baltimore.
"We are appealing to the public for any information they may have regarding [Boyer's whereabouts]," Foust said. "We feel that he should be considered armed and dangerous."
The credit union and the Maryland Association for Bank Security are offering an $8,000 reward for information leading to Boyer's arrest.
Foust said Montague, English and Boyer are acquaintances. He said Montague was one of two women bank employees found inside the bank vault Thursday night when a six-man SWAT team entered the credit union about 9 p.m. Authorities said they do not believe the other employee was part of the scheme.
Foust said a man entered the credit union about 5 p.m. with a gun and ordered the two employees -- one of them Montague -- into the vault behind the automated-teller machine. Police said one of the women had a cellular phone and called police from the vault.
A few minutes after the tellers were forced into the vault, a woman using the ATM in the lobby heard a commotion behind the machine, called police and reported a robbery in progress, Prince George's County police said.
Witnesses told police a man fled from the building shortly before officers arrived. Authorities later found a 1997 Ford Taurus, believed to have been used in the get-away, at Springdale Avenue and Denison Street in Northwest Baltimore.
Thursday night, county and state police cordoned off the area around the credit union -- about a half-mile from the University of Maryland, College Park campus -- and detoured traffic.
Montague of the 9000 block of Coleman Thomas Road in Columbia and English of the 3800 block of Chatham Road in Baltimore are in custody. They are due to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Greenbelt tomorrow morning. They are each charged with one count of bank robbery, a charge that carries a maximum 20-year sentence, Foust said.
Montague's family members declined comment yesterday. A neighbor said Montague lived with her mother, brothers and sisters.
"As far as I know, they're nice people," said Minnie Abrams, a neighbor for several years.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Baltimore FBI office at (410) 265-8080.
Pub Date: 5/03/98