Banks robbed: Two Prince George's County banks were robbed yesterday afternoon, police said, one at a recently built outdoor shopping center on the grounds of the former Capital Centre, and the other five miles away in Landover. Police said the same person probably committed both.
Police said a man entered the Provident Bank branch on Arena Drive in Largo at 1:43 p.m. He passed a note to a teller and left moments later with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
Twelve minutes later, at the BB&T branch in the 8400 block of Annapolis Road in Landover, a man walked in, passed a note to a teller and left with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
Cpl. Debbie Carlson, a police spokeswoman, said it was unknown whether the robber carried a gun. She said that no shots were fired and that no one was hurt. Police ask anyone with information on either robbery to call the department's Crime Solvers at 301-735-1111.
Acquittal in Oxon Hill killing: A Greenbelt man who, according to prosecutors, provided a videotaped confession was acquitted of murder by a Prince George's jury yesterday in the killing of an Oxon Hill man in February 2003.
After deliberating about five hours, the Circuit Court jury acquitted James E. Saylor, 40, of felony murder in the killing of Danny Sorrels, 72. Sorrels was beaten and shot by three men who entered his home to rob him, according to court records. The victim's home had been ransacked, police said.
The jury convicted Saylor of robbery with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon.
In her closing argument yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney Laura J. Gwinn said Saylor had confessed on videotape to detectives and to his mother.
Deputy Public Defender Gary Ward said detectives obtained the incriminating statements improperly. Ward said police are supposed to take suspects to a court commissioner promptly after they are charged, but police waited more than 10 hours to take Saylor to a commissioner.
Circuit Court Judge Richard H. Sothoron Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 23.
Bomb threat arrest: A 69-year-old motorist was arrested yesterday for allegedly shouting out a bomb threat after passing through a checkpoint at the U.S. Supreme Court, the FBI said. The threat resulted in an 82-minute delay of an Amtrak train bound for North Carolina.
Francis Gerard Dunphy, a District resident, was driving with his son past the checkpoint at A and Second streets NE about 10:30 a.m. when he yelled something about a bomb being aboard a train, said Debbie Weierman, an FBI spokeswoman.
Supreme Court police notified Amtrak police and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Dunphy then dropped his son off at Union Station so he could board a train to North Carolina, Weierman said. Amtrak police delayed the train to check for explosives.
Dunphy passed through the same checkpoint and was arrested on a charge of making a bomb threat, Weierman said.
Police cars collide: Two police cruisers collided early yesterday in Southeast Washington while pursuing an armed carjacker suspect driving a stolen vehicle, police said.
The accident occurred in the 1800 block of Branch Avenue SE while officers were chasing three suspects in a Ford Focus stolen at gunpoint hours earlier at Wade and Sumner roads SE, police said. Three officers suffered minor injuries in the crash. One was taken to a hospital.
Police arrested a 17-year-old in the carjacking. Two other suspects were at large yesterday.
Two Fairfax banks robbed: Two banks in Fairfax County were robbed in a two-hour span yesterday, both by two masked men, and police and federal investigators are trying to determine whether the same men were responsible.
The first occurred about 9:15 a.m. at the Bank of America branch at 6417 Loisdale Rd. Police said both men wore ski masks and black clothing, and ordered employees and customers to lie on the floor. They took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot. No one was injured.
At 11:15 a.m., two armed men robbed the Access National Bank at 8233 Old Courthouse Rd. near Tysons Corner. Sgt. Rich Perez of the Fairfax County police said four employees were ordered to the rear of the bank at gunpoint. No customers were inside at the time. The robbers took an unspecified amount of cash and fled without further incident.
The descriptions of the robbers were slightly different from those in the first holdup -- witnesses said that one man wore a brown scarf instead of a ski mask and that one man wore gray sweat pants -- but Perez said investigators were looking for a connection between the holdups.
Compiled from reports by staff writers.