Armed robbers held up two Waldorf banks on consecutive days last week, authorities said.
The first robbery occurred at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Old Line National Bank in the 12000 block of Old Line Center. Authorities said two men between the ages of 25 and 35 entered the bank carrying handguns. The robbers forced five employees and a customer to lie on the floor.
One of the gunmen wore a baseball cap and a beige knit scarf wrapped around his face; the other wore a beige "Winnie the Pooh" cap and a dark fleece mask. They demanded cash from the teller and were given an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing on foot, authorities said.
The next day, at close to the same time in the afternoon, a man pulled up on a motorcycle outside of the Maryland Bank and Trust branch in the 10000 block of Berry Road. Brandishing a handgun, he walked into the office dressed in dark clothing, gloves and his helmet, said John Morgan, a bank vice president. A teller was in a back room, and an assistant manager was working at the counter, Morgan said.
"He told her to give him the money," Morgan said. "He might have said, 'Where's the rest?' "
The gunman forced the employee to lie on the floor before riding away on the motorcycle westbound on Berry Road. The bank declined to disclose the amount stolen, but Morgan said, "He certainly didn't hit the jackpot."
No one was injured in either robbery, authorities said.
The incidents were Charles County's first two bank robberies of the year, according to the Sheriff's Office. Last year there were three bank robberies in Charles, authorities said.
The robberies occurred at a time when the Washington region has seen a spike in bank robberies. A gang of heavily armed robbers has struck four times this year, twice in Prince George's County and twice in the District, hauling off more than $300,000.
Capt. Joseph C. Montminy of the Charles County Sheriff's Office said the two Waldorf robberies could be related to each other or to the wider trend in the region, but he said investigators do not know for sure.
"We haven't fit ours into the big puzzle," he said.
Montminy said it was likely that the robbers performed surveillance of the banks before they made their move. "Very rarely does someone walk in cold and rob a bank," he said.
For Maryland Bank and Trust, the robbery was the second recent problem. A little more than two weeks ago, a driver rammed his vehicle into the adjacent Burchmart in an attempt to steal one of the bank's ATMs. Morgan said the attempted robbery and the recent wave of bank robberies has been disconcerting, but bank security is sound.
"It's the most secure that we can really make it without going overboard," he said.