Bank Worker Among 6 Arrested in Theft

By Ernesto Londo¿o
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Six people were arrested yesterday and Friday in the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Wheaton bank by a man posing as an armored truck employee, the Montgomery County police said.

The police said one of those arrested in the Wednesday theft was an employee of the BB&T bank branch where the theft occurred. Police identified her as Elizabeth K. Tarke, 40, of Olney, and said that she dealt with the phony security guard.

Police, who worked with the FBI, said a large amount of the stolen money was recovered. A source familiar with the case has said more than $500,000 was taken.

A theft similar to the one in Maryland occurred Thursday in the District, and authorities are trying to determine whether there is a connection.

In addition to Tarke, those arrested were: David P. Mbom, 38, of Catonsville, Md.; Phillippe H. Ngassa, 46, Ernest N. Yossa, 43, and Edmond K. Machie, 38, all of Silver Spring; and Robert T. Tataw, 42.

Police said they could not identify the man who impersonated the guard or say whether he had been arrested because the investigation is continuing.

Mbom, Tataw and Tarke were charged with felony theft and conspiracy, Ngassa and Yossa with conspiracy to commit felony theft and helping a criminal avoid arrest, and Machie with conspiracy to commit felony theft, police said.

Staff writers Martin Weil and Clarence Williams contributed to this report.

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