Five men, two of them armed and all wearing ski masks and rubber gloves, robbed the main branch of the Perpetual federal Savings and Loan Company of more than $5,000 at the height of the noon business rush hour yesterday, District of Columbia police reported.
Two suspects were captured after a chase through nearby streets shortly after the holdup at the savings and loan company at 500 11th St. NW, police said.
According to police, five men entered the S&L, yelled "Everybody freeze", and jumped over the counter. They emptied four teller's cages. During the holdup an employee set off the bank's alarm, alerting police.
Police said the five men split into two groups, three of them running out through the east side street entrance, the other two escaping through the 11th Street side.
One suspect, who has been charged in connection with the robbery, was caught in the 900 block of E Street, NE. Police said the suspect bumped into a woman, almost knocking her over, and then tried to snatch her purse. She resisted and two male bystanders came to her aid. The three of them managed to overcome the suspect, who was arrested by police responding to the alarm.
The other suspect was chased by a employee out of the S&L on the 11th Street side, up to F Street, and east of F to 10th Street, where the employee pointed him out to police surrounding the area, police said.
Police said that they are attempting to determine whether there is any link between yesterday's robbery and a holdup on May 11 carried out by three masked men with rubber gloves at the National Savings and Trust Company at 1 Indiana Ave. No suspects have been arrested in that case.
The two men arrested yesterday and charged with robbery in connection with the Perpetual holdup were identified by police as Harvey L. Tonic, 22, of 633 Rhode Island Ave. NW and George E. Huntley, 24, of 625 L St. NE.
Police also reported that earlier yesterday a gunman robbed the National Capital Bank at 316 Pennsylvania Ave., SE. The man, apparently carrying a concealed weapon under his coat, ordered a teller to turn over money anthen escaped.