MARYLAND

Suspect remains in custody: An Oxon Hill man suspected of being part of a gang of armed bank robbers will remain in custody pending a preliminary hearing next Wednesday, a U.S. magistrate judge in Greenbelt ruled yesterday.

During an appearance in U.S. District Court, the attorney for Aaron B. Perkins, 27, said that pursuing his client's release would have been fruitless because Prince George's authorities are seeking to have him jailed for local offenses. Last month, Perkins pleaded guilty in Prince George's to car theft and a weapons offense and is to be sentenced on those charges Aug. 30.

Perkins was one of three men arrested last week in connection with six bank robberies that occurred between January and June in the District and Maryland. None has been charged with bank robbery. Perkins is charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery and being an accessory after the fact.

Shots fired: An off-duty Montgomery County police officer fired his gun early Monday at people who drove a car toward him after they behaved suspiciously outside his house in Springdale, Prince George's County police said.

Police said Lt. Demetri Kornegay spotted occupants of the car fumbling around inside before he fired. He was not injured in the 1:40 a.m. incident. It was not clear whether anyone in the car was hit.

VIRGINIA

Children missing: Prince William County police were searching yesterday for two siblings who authorities suspect were kidnapped by their mother.

Fatima Sharron Ortiz, 10, and Sean Terrial Tookes, 8, were last seen about 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Ashton Commons subdivision in Manassas, police said.

Sgt. Kim Chinn, a police spokeswoman, said the children's grandmother has custody of them. Their mother, who lives in the Midwest, was seen recently in Northern Virginia, and investigators "suspect the mother may have picked up the children,'' Chinn said.

Officer charged: An Alexandria parking enforcement officer was arrested and charged with inappropriately accessing information from a police department computer, police said.

Cletus Okoro, 46, was charged with computer invasion of privacy, a misdemeanor. Okoro was accused of accessing information for non-law enforcement purposes between July 29, 2003, and April 30, police said.

Okoro, who joined the department in 1998, has been placed on administrative leave pending a criminal trial and the completion of an investigation, police said.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.