Robber fires shots, takes money before deliveryman reaches his armored car; Employee avoids injury; driver helps gunman flee


An armored car deliveryman carrying two bags of money from a Columbia financial processing center was robbed yesterday afternoon after shots were fired, Howard County police said.

The man was not injured. Witnesses said they heard three or four gunshots about 2: 50 p.m. yesterday in the 7100 block of Columbia Gateway Drive, tucked behind U.S. 29.

Police believe the incident began when a white car thought to have been operated by the robbers pulled behind the Loomis-Fargo armored truck and struck the parked vehicle at the back of the First Union Operations Center. Officials do not know whether the collision was intentional.

"It was minimal damage," said Lt. Sandy Regler, a southern district watch commander.

A guard with two bags of money was returning to the armored car from the building when a gunman approached him and began firing. Officials do not know where the shots were aimed, but they do not believe they were fired at the guard.

"There was nothing near him [such as shell casings] indicating he was threatened," Regler said. The shots might have been fired "either around him or in the air."

The armed guard did not return fire, Regler said.

The guard dropped the money bags. The robber ran to the white car with the bags and fled with someone else driving. Regler said witnesses heard the incident but did not see the gunman or the driver.

Police said they didn't know how much money was stolen.

County police and the FBI are investigating.

Pub Date: 9/16/99

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