Two alleged members of a three-person bank robbery ring were arrested and charged with robbery yesterday in connection with a series of eight bank robberies in the District of Columbia, D.C. police said.
Police identified the two as Carl Brett Matthews, 27, of 756 Howard Rd. SE and Warren Johnson, 25, of 7404 9th St. NW. Both men were arrested at home.
Police identified as third alleged member of the ring as Loretta Faith Jackson, 25, who police said shared an apartment with Matthews in southeast Washington. Jackson had been arrested, charged and released on personal bond earlier in connection with the April 16th bank robbery of the Columbia Federal Savings and Loan Associaton branch office at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Police said they began to discover the identify of the ring after the June 22 bank robbery at the Columbia Federal Savings and Loan Association branch office at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, - the same branch office that Jackson had allegedly held up two months earlier.
Shortly after the 11:55 a.m. robbery, a uniformed patrolman stopped a car occupied by Jackson and Matthews near Matthews' Howard Road SE address. The car fit the description of the get-way car, police said.
Police said the patrolman called the bank robbery squad, and members of the squad identified Jackson as the woman sought in the Aprrl 16th robbery. She was arrested June 22. Police said they found information among her personal belongings that later led them to Johnson and Matthews.
In each case, according to police, one of the three would present a demand note to a bank teller and then request that the note be returned, presumably to prevent police from identifying the handwriting. Because fingerprints were difficult to obtain after each of the robberies, police speculated that the three taped their fingers before each robbery.
Police said bank surveillance photographs helped identify Matthews and Johnson. Their pictures were later identified by bank employes, police said.
Police said they were in the process of obtaining arrest warrants for Matthews and Johnson Tuesday when the Madison National Bank branch office at 1800 G St. NW, was robbed. The ring was credited with that robbery as well, police said.
Both Johnson and Matthews were arraigned yesterday and were released on $2,500 and $5,000 bonds respectively.
Besides allegedly robbing branch offices of the Columbia Federal Savings and Loan Association three times, the ring is charged with the following robberies:
Riggs National Bank office, 1779 Columbia Rd. NW on May 24th;
Interstate Federal Savinns and Loan office at 1336 G St. NW on May 24th;
National Bank of Washington branch office at 619 14th St. NW on June 13;
First Federal Savings and Loan office at 1900 Pennsylvannia Ave. NW on June 19th; and
Madison National Bank office at 1800 G St. NW.
Police said less than $5,000 was taken in all eight robberies.