Southern Md. Police Beat: THE RETURN OF THE BLACK BANDITS – Gunmen rob patron of PNC ATM; Wawa Wobbers dash for cash
THE CASE OF THE WAWA WOBBERS & THE PNC BANK SITTING DUCKS
LEXINGTON PARK, MD. – Perhaps these two bandits are the offspring of the infamous Black Bandit who went on his own personal robbery spree two decades ago in Lexington Park and California areas of St. Mary’s County, robbing at will and leaving police hapless and hopeless following in their trail looking for – The Black Bandit.
Police say that on July 23, 2018, at approximately 12:30 A.M., St. Mary’s Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Wawa located on Rt. 235 at Rue Purchase Road, in Lexington Park, for a reported robbery.
Police say that two black bandits, dressed all in black with hoods and partial face masks, one of them armed with a gun, rushed in the store and demanded money.
A preliminary investigation determined two black males entered the Wawa, and one suspect brandished a firearm and demanded money.
After grabbing cash, the pair fled on foot.
One of the robberies took place just about an hour earlier at an ATM machine just before midnight on Great Mills Road.
Showing up at an ATM machine on Great Mills Road with your wallet to get cash might be akin to a turkey walking out into a field during a thunderstorm and gazing up to the rain clouds and drowning. Apparently, that is exactly what two people did on July 22, 2018, at approximately 11:30 P.M. St. Mary’s Sheriff deputies responded to the PNC Bank located on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, for the report of a robbery.
Police say that two victims reported that while at the PNC Bank ATM, two black males approached, and one had a firearm. The suspects demanded property and the victims complied. The suspects then fled the area on foot.
The PNC bank branch on Great Mills Road is located across the highway from an office used by the Sheriff’s COPS unit and next to the former substation of the Sheriff which for years utilized part of the building housing the Lexington Park Rescue Squad. The Sheriff’s Lexington Park station was then moved out of the rescue squad building to St. Mary’s Square almost directly across Great Mills Road from the site of the PNC bank location. Several years later, St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron moved the Lexington Park Sheriff station to the old Carver Elementary School in Hermanville.
The first Lexington Park Sheriff’s station was in the old Fruchtman Lexington Park Hotel building and shopping center, last known as the “Skipjack Inn”, where the Lexington Park Post Office is now standing. In addition to a Sheriff’s substation installed during the term of Sheriff Joe Lee Somerville, the block included a liquor store, the Brass Rail nightclub, and a strip club – The Tropics – all of which likely produced customers for the Sheriff’s station.
Lexington Park once had a chamber of commerce which temporarily funded a police agency.
The St. Mary’s Board of Commissioners approved the new Lexington Park Sheriff station on Great Mills Road, next to the site of the ATM holdup, in their Fiscal 2017 Capital Budget. The total cost of $2,970,200 included $500,000 to buy the property from the Lexington Park Rescue Squad, $175,000 for architect and engineering, $1,872,800 for construction and renovation costs and $206,000 for contingencies and bonds. The 2017 Budget included over 2.2 million dollars with the balance having been approved in prior years.
The budget approval included this statement: This project supports the Sheriffs strategic plan to create district offices throughout the County reducing the need for Officers to travel to and from the headquarters building in Leonardtown and locating services closer to the communities served.
This information and sketch is from the Manns Woodward Studios showing the design of a new Lexington Park office of the St. Mary’s Sheriff’ Department. The building has been delayed for several years.
In September 2015 Manns Woodward Studios was selected to design the new Sheriff District 4 Office in St. Mary’s County. Due to a growing population and the Sheriff’s strategic plan to develop a community policing unit, a new base of operations was needed in Lexington Park, Maryland. The building is designed to provide a visible presence within the community and encourage public interactions with the police.
The building interior is designed to comply with national law enforcement standards. Special attention is made for site and sound separation between juveniles, female and male detainees. The entire building is equipped throughout with an access control system, audio/video surveillance and emergency and life safety systems. Exterior glazing, along with interior glazing separating public spaces from administrative offices, is protected by a bullet-resistant glazing system.
Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *1953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com. Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.