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3 charged in robbery of bank in Eldersburg


Witnesses and an alert state trooper are credited for the quick arrest of three men who are accused of robbing an Eldersburg bank Friday, authorities said yesterday.

Two of the men arrested Saturday were being held yesterday at the Carroll County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

Bail was set at $250,000 for the third man, who also has been charged in a bank robbery last month in Mount Airy.

After witnesses described the suspected get-away vehicle used in the 12:30 p.m. robbery of Frederick County National Bank in Eldersburg, patrols were increased in South Carroll and troopers looked for a green Jeep Wrangler, said Detective Sgt. Michael Kane, who heads the criminal investigative division at the state police barracks in Westminster.

A trooper later found an unoccupied, parked Jeep in Sykesville that fit the description and ran a check on its registration plates, Kane said. The information was passed on to detectives, and that led them to Howard County, where two suspects were arrested, Kane said.

Charged with counts of armed robbery, accessory to robbery before the fact, theft over $300 and related conspiracy charges were Paul J. Francis, 21, of the Roxwell Court in Glenwood and Andrew S. Dana, 21, of the 7400 block of Village Road in Sykesville.

Investigators said Francis and Dana cooperated, naming a man who they alleged had boasted of other robberies, including an armed robbery of Union National Bank in Mount Airy on Aug. 22.

Arrested a short time later was James D. Childers, 28, who gave a mailing address in Vero Beach, Fla. He was charged with 22 counts, including two armed robberies, thefts over $300, first-degree assaults and related weapons charges, court records show.

District Judge C. James Sfekas, visiting from Howard County, rejected requests from Francis and Dana to reduce their bails.

Childers asked that his bail review be postponed until he could consult with a lawyer.

Kane said two more charges of armed robbery are pending in Howard County.

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