Md. Police: Teens Being Forced to Rob Banks

Authorities in Montgomery and Prince George's counties are investigating possible similarities between a 14-year-old accused bank robber and two teenagers who were abducted last month and forced to rob banks, police said Thursday.

In the latest case, investigators said the 14-year-old held up a Chevy Chase Bank branch in Bethesda on Wednesday.

"He walked into the bank, presented a note announcing a robbery. The bank teller obviously gave him the money," said Lt. Eric Burnett, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department. He said the teen was spotted a short time later by officers who arrested him.

The suspect is from Landover, but was not identified because of his age. He was released into the custody of his parents and was not charged.

"We're still investigating to see what's the most appropriate action," said Lucille Baur, a Montgomery police spokeswoman.

But the incident is similar enough to cause Montgomery police to look at two cases in neighboring Prince George's County.

Police there said that on Jan. 20, a 15-year-old boy was confronted by two suspects on a street just two blocks from police headquarters in Palmer Park. They said the teen was threatened with harm if he did not rob two banks in the Landover area by using a note that implied he had a weapon. After the second robbery the suspects fled and the teen called police.

Another teenager was abducted at gunpoint aboard a Metrobus on Feb. 6 and forced to rob a New Carrolton bank in the same fashion. He then gave the money to the suspect, who fled. That teen was later found by police.

Investigators are looking at whether the two Prince George's incidents are linked, and whether one or both are connected to the Bethesda robbery.