A Washington man accused of being half of a "Mutt and Jeff" team of robbers suspected of holding up a number of banks was convicted of two robberies yesterday after evidence showed that the tread of his tennis shoe matched a muddy footprint left on the counter of one of the robbed banks.
The U.S. court jury here deliberated two hours before finding Leroy Robinson, 27, listed at 15 Seaton P1. NE, guilty of robbing the Sandy Spring National Bank in Burtonsville of $3,448 last Jan. 31 and the Maryland Federal Savings and Loan in Silver Spring of $1,731 Feb. 7.
The identifying footprint was left on the counter at the Sandy Spring bank, according to testimony. An FBI agent said the print matched the unique characteristics of Robinson's Nike (brand) tennis shoe, which was seized from Robinson's closet when he was questioned Feb. 27.
Because witnesses said the robberies were committed by two men, one tall and the other short, the robbers became known in law enforcement circles as the "Mutt and Jeff" gang.
Robinson is 6-foot-3.
His alleged partner was 5-foot-6 James Earl Mills, 25, of 5620 Livingston Ter. Mills has pleaded guilty to the Silver Spring robbery and another in which $7,061 was taken from the United Virginia National Bank in Great Falls Feb. 22.
But Mills testified for the defense at Robinson's trial that another man had been his partner. He said he did not know the whereabouts of the other man.
Robinson and Mills are being held at the Baltimore City jail pending sentencing by U.S. District Judge Edward S. Northrop.