Updated on Oct. 28
SILVER SPRING — Banks and businesses in Montgomery County have been hit by a rash of robberies in recent months, including three bank robberies and two commercial burglaries that police believe were perpetrated by two separate suspects.
While Montgomery County Police (MCP) officials continue to look for a suspect that committed two robberies in Rockville at Old Line Bank and Congressional Bank, they arrested Jason Kenneth Rollins, 34, for a similar crime at a SunTrust Bank on Oct. 16.
Officials say that Rollins, 34, approached a bank teller and showed a note that demanded money and stated that he had a gun. Rollins fled from the bank carrying an undisclosed amount of money.
Rollins was located through an investigative lead and arrested on Oct. 22, according to MCP.
“Officers located Rollins exiting his apartment wearing the same clothing that he had worn while committing the robbery. He was placed under arrest. During a search of his home, detectives located additional evidence of the crime,” wrote MCP.
Rollins has since been transported to the Central Processing Unit and will be held there without bond.
With Rollins’ capture solving the SunTrust Bank case, MCP officials believe that one suspect carried out two still similar incidents at two other Rockville establishments. The Old Line Bank was robbed on Oct. 9 around 10 a.m. Police report that the suspect demanded cash and implied to one of the employees that he was armed with a weapon. The suspect obtained an undisclosed amount of money and fled.
MCP Spokesman Rick Goodale explained that the department does not release the amount of money taken during robberies, so as to not incentivize the crime.
“Further investigation by detectives determined that after this bank robbery, the suspect fled from the bank by riding a bicycle northbound on the southbound sidewalk of Rockville Pike,” wrote Goodale.
MCP reported that the suspect stopped at a nearby parking lot and removed his outer layer of clothing, which he was wearing during the robbery and left the sweatshirt and pants in the parking lot. He then continued on his bicycle, north on Rockville Pike.
Then, on Oct. 15, police believe the same suspect from the Old Line incident entered Congressional Bank on Rockville Pike and used the same tactics: informing employees that he was armed and obtaining an undisclosed amount of money. Police report that the suspect was last seen on foot headed south on Rockville Pike.
The Major Crimes Division are heading the investigation into the remaining two bank robberies.
These robberies come on the heels of a Sentinel report that indicates bank robberies in the area are on the rise. In fact, the number of bank robberies this year is double the number reported last year.
MCP has released photographs of the suspect along with the Oct. 9 surveillance video of the man removing the outer clothes he was wearing during the robbery.
The police department is also investigating a burglary and attempted burglary they believe was perpetrated by the same suspect in Silver Spring.
On Oct. 18, MCP released photos and surveillance footage of a man they believe burgled the Children’s Hospital Foundation office and attempted to burgle the National Ready Mixed Concrete Office, which are both located in downtown Silver Spring.
The incidents occurred very early in the morning on Oct. 17.
According to MCP, the male suspect attempted to force entry into the National Ready Mixed Concrete office on Spring Street at 12:15 a.m. but was unable to get inside. Then, at about 1:27 a.m., the same suspect managed to gain entry and steal property in the Children’s Hospital Foundation office, which is located on Roeder Street.
Goodale explained that the next steps for the police involve interviewing and research.
“No matter what the crime is, detectives will interview victims and witnesses, look for any surveillance video and look for any physical evidence,” Goodale said.
The department is also asking for the public’s help in apprehending any of the suspects in these crimes. Anyone with information about the suspect or these bank robberies is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5100.
To be eligible for a reward, tipsters may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and/or indictment of this suspect. Tipsters will remain anonymous.