Unsolved Bank Robberies Keep Police Busy

Unsolved Bank Robberies Keep Police Busy

Another bank has fallen victim to the latest rash of bank robberies in and around the Route 1 corridor in Mount Vernon.

On Jan. 14, at approximately 2:45 p.m., two men entered the Wachovia Bank, located at 6300 Richmond Highway. They approached one of the bank tellers, showed a handgun and demanded money. She gave them cash and they left the bank.

The two men are described as black, in their thirties, six feet tall and weighing 185 pounds. Both men were wearing black knit caps and scarves covering their faces. A photograph captured by the bank camera has been placed on an FBI Wanted Poster.

This same bank was robbed the beginning of last month. That person demanded money, and implied that he had a weapon. The victim relinquished the cash in her teller drawer, and the man fled the bank. That suspect was described as black, about 25 years old, six feet tall and weighing 240 pounds. He had a mustache and a chipped front tooth. He was wearing a baseball cap and a tan and brown jacket.

No suspect has been apprehended in that case, nor for the robbery that took place at the nearby Provident Bank located inside the Shoppers Food Warehouse at 6228 North Kings Highway. That robbery occurred on Nov. 19, with two men walking into the bank, and one pointing a gun and demanding money. One of the tellers handed over money and the men fled on foot. The man with the gun was described as black, in his twenties, six feet one inch tall and weighing 200 pounds. He had short black hair with a thin mustache and wore a black heavy denim coat and Redskins ball cap. The second man was described as black, in his twenties, six feet three inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He also had black hair with a thin mustache, and was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

NOBODY HAS YET been arrested for the robbery committed at the Eckerd Drugstore on Richmond Highway which occurred the same day as the first robbery at the Wachovia Bank. It was reported that a black male in his late 30's, five foot eight inches tall, and weighing 150 pounds, entered the drugstore, demanded cash and then fled on foot after an undisclosed amount was turned over to him.

Lieutenant Mike Dittmer, Assistant Station Commander at Mount Vernon, said that they did arrest somebody for the robbery of the BB&T bank that happened on Dec. 22. A warrant is on file charging Robert Ward Bell, 57, of no fixed address, with robbery. A press release by the Fairfax County Police Department said that he was last seen driving a 1988 black Toyota 4Runner with Virginia tags YDF-1589.

Dittmer said that not all bank robberies are that easy to track, especially if the die pack or bait money isn't given out. MPO Greg Kottemann, Crime Prevention Officer, said that the robbery at the Wachovia Bank may be related to the one at the Provident Bank and that they are looking into similarities; they don't believe that all the robberies are linked.

He agrees that not having the dye pack or bait money makes it harder, but said, "Usually it catches up to them."

ELSEWHERE IN MOUNT VERNON, a 20-year-old Alexandria area man was robbed on Jan. 3, at 9 a.m., as he was on his way to make a bank deposit for the Hollywood Video store. A man pulled his car up behind the victim's car and blocked him in a parking space. The suspect walked up to the car, implied he had a weapon and demanded money. The victim relinquished the deposit bag and the suspect fled. The suspect is described as black, in his late twenties to early thirties, 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighing 300 pounds.

On Jan. 7, a 34-year-old Alexandria area man was robbed while walking home from the Metro station at 7 p.m. The victim was grabbed from behind by a man who wanted to know what he had in a bag he was carrying. The victim gave the suspect, who was accompanied by another man, his bag and then ran home to call police. The suspects are described as black, 25-35 years old, approximately 6 feet tall, 160-170 lbs., with winter coats and dark pants.

Last weekend, it was reported that a man tried to abduct a 2-year-old girl during a travel-team basketball game at Mount Vernon High School.

On Jan. 17, at 6:15 p.m., a Manassas area woman, who was attending a travel-team basketball game at Mount Vernon High School, took her daughter to the ladiesí room. After she turned the corner to enter the bathroom, she saw a man grab her child, picked her up and began walking away.

The child's father was also in the hallway and saw what happened. He began walking after the man and shouted for him to stop. The man turned around, put the child down and continued out of the building. There were several off-duty police officers attending the game; after they were notified of the incident, they located the man in the parking lot and detained him until patrol officers arrived.

Norval A Williams, 43, of 5113 Southern Avenue, #301, in Capitol Heights, Md., was arrested shortly after the incident occurred. After he was arrested, officers found marijuana in his pocket and charged him with abduction and possession of marijuana. He is being held without bond.

Automobile accidents continue to claim the lives of drivers, as in the case of Jennifer Wood, from Thomas Edison Court. She was killed when the vehicle she was driving was hit by a Lowe's delivery truck on Franconia Road last month.

The driver who was killed in that fiery crash on Pole Road a few weeks ago has finally been identified. He was 36-year-old Erik Deitzel, of 8780 Old Colony Way in the Woodlawn area; it is still undetermined if alcohol was a factor.

Another accident that occurred at the intersection of Richmond Highway and Popkins Lane last week caused traffic to be tied up for several hours; fortunately no fatalities were reported.

Anyone with information about any of the above incidents is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 703-691-8888.