Unsuccessful bank robbery is latest in a string of holdups in past nine days

December 28, 2013

A man who tried to rob a bank in the District on Friday was turned away empty-handed in one of the latest of the eight holdups or attempted robberies at financial institutions in the Washington area in the past nine days.

The incident Friday occurred at a Citibank in the 3200 block of 14th Street NW, a stone’s throw from the Columbia Heights Metro station, in a vibrant, bustling section of the city.

According to police, the would-be robber entered the branch about 2:40 p.m. and presented a note to a teller.

In contrast to most such incidents, the teller refused to hand over any money, the police said.

They said the would-be robber left and is being sought.

A second bank incident occurred Friday in Herndon at a Wells Fargo branch at Elden Street and Alabama Drive, according to police in the Northern Virginia town. A helicopter was used in the search for the robber.

Of the string of recent incidents, the most dramatic occurred Dec. 21 in Laurel, Md., in which the robber was described as wearing a beard similar to Santa Claus or someone from the “Duck Dynasty” cable TV show.

The robber fired at least one shot into the ceiling of the PNC bank branch on Main Street before getting cash from tellers and fleeing in a vehicle, said Laurel police spokesman Pete Piringer.

No injuries were reported.

Three other recent robberies occurred in Fairfax County. One came in Howard County and the other in the Potomac section of Montgomery County.

The first of the three Fairfax robberies occurred Dec. 20 in the Hayfield area, in which two men with handguns took money from a BB&T branch on Telegraph Road after ordering employees to lie on the ground.

The other Fairfax robberies occurred Dec. 21 in the Franconia area and Dec. 23 in the Mount Vernon area, county police said. They said the two may be linked.

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