Robbery Plan Overlooked A Few Details
Suspects in Bank Theft Left ID in Getaway Truck
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The three bank robbery suspects who led police on a high-speed chase from Howard County to Montgomery County this week left a telling clue in their pickup before bailing out: an identification card hanging from the rearview mirror, according to a federal complaint filed yesterday.
Police pursuing the trio entered information from the ID into a Motor Vehicle Administration database and obtained an address. A short time later, suspect Anirudh L. Sukhu was observed entering the residence and called police to claim he had been carjacked. Officers arrested him later without incident, authorities said.
The FBI complaint, signed yesterday by Agent John M. Krajnak and filed in support of a robbery charge against Sukhu, disclosed other details of the brazen bank robbery, which began in Howard with a shotgun blast in a Bank of America branch and ended in a massive manhunt through suburban neighborhoods in eastern Montgomery.
Another suspect, Omar Burnett, 24, with a last known address in the 11900 block of Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville, died in a shootout with officers. A third suspect, whose identity hasn't been released, remained at large last night.
Efforts to find relatives of Burnett weren't successful yesterday. A man who answered the phone at a house in Silver Spring where relatives of Sukhu live said they didn't know anything and declined to comment.
It wasn't clear yesterday whether any of the money was still missing. The suspects are accused of stealing $23,471, according to the FBI complaint.
At 9:12 a.m. Thursday, the three walked into the bank at 6390 Ten Oaks Rd. in Clarksville, the complaint states. Customer John Mabry was there to cash a check.
"Everyone down," one of the men announced, Mabry said in an interview yesterday. "Everyone down. Hit the floor."
Burnett, armed with a handgun, vaulted a counter and demanded that the tellers place money in a red and black bag, according to the complaint.
"Is that all you have? Is that all you have?" one of the suspects asked, according to Mabry.
Sukhu fired a shotgun, striking a female bank employee in the hand, the complaint states. Mabry said that blast occurred behind him, in an office.
The three men fled in a black Ford pickup.
"They walked in smooth and they walked out smooth," Mabry said, "like they had done this before, or were just calm dudes."
But their escape route -- east on Route 32 toward Interstate 95 and the crush of commuter traffic -- struck Mabry as ill-advised. "How dumb are you?" he said. "I mean, holy heck."
The truck was pursued by police into Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
The three bailed out of their truck in Burtonsville along Greencastle Road, authorities said. Burnett, whose last known address was about three miles away, headed west on foot through a set of townhouses along two long ponds, according to federal and local officials.
Police said Thursday that Burnett fired at the officers, and officers from Howard and Prince George's returned fire. One of the bullets killed Burnett, although it's not clear which officer fired the fatal shot.
Near Burnett's body, police recovered the red and black bag, which contained cash and a sawed-off shotgun, according to the FBI complaint.