A Baltimore bank teller who handed over $185,450 in a robbery at his bank in March was arrested as an alleged confederate in the crime when he returned by chartered Lear jet yesterday from a week's vacation in the Bahamas.
George Dennis Irby, 22, and a companion, Betty Francis Stiffler, 45, of Baltimore, were taken into custody by FBI agents and local police at Frederick Municipal Airport 47 miles west of Baltimore as they stepped off the jet at 1 a.m. Irby's mother, Ruby Jean Altizer, also was on the plane but was not arrested.
Irby and Stiffler were charged with bank larceny for allegedly facilitating the robbery, Irby by acting as the "teller victim" and Stiffler by driving the robber to and from the bank. Irby was released on $100,000 bond. Stiffler was released to the custody of a federal halfway house in Baltimore.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court, a robber entered the First National Bank of Maryland branch at 2334 Boston St. in East Baltimore on March 28 with a note demanding money, and threatened to kill Irby.
Irby gave him money from his teller's drawer and then went to the bank vault and handed over additional cash that had just been delivered by an armored truck company, according to the affidavit. Typically, FBI spokesman Jim Dearborn said, tellers surrender only the money in teller drawers.
The $185,450 theft was far larger than typical Maryland bank robberies, which average $2,000 to $3,000, investigators said.
The robbery suspect, Warren Terry Blevins, 49, of Baltimore, was arrested last week and charged in the robbery. He is being held without bond.
Dearborn said Blevins was arrested at an East Baltimore motel last Wednesday on an unrelated narcotics charge, but agents found marked "bait money" from the First National Bank robbery during a search, leading agents to charge him with robbery as well.
Agents linked Irby and Stiffler to the robbery after arresting Blevins, Dearborn said. "It is believed Irby, Stiffler and Blevins were confederates in the theft," he added.
He said agents learned from interviewing Irby's relatives and neighbors that he had flown to the Bahamas. Agents placed an alert with U.S. Customs to watch for Irby's return, Dearborn said. Late Monday, he said, the Wilmington, N.C., Customs office called Baltimore FBI agents, saying a private Lear jet carrying Irby had just stopped in Wilmington on its way back from the Bahamas to Frederick. Agents rushed to the Frederick airport and made the arrests.