Authorities: ‘Lion Man’ robbed Wheaton, White Oak banks, also tried in Silver Spring -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 10:55 a.m. May 6, 2014.

A bank robber the FBI has nicknamed the “Lion Man” tried to rob a SunTrust Bank in Silver Spring on Thursday.

According to federal agents, the robber — who wears dark sunglasses and a Detroit Lions baseball cap during to disguise himself — is responsible for 11 robberies and attempted robberies in Montgomery County, the Baltimore Region, Northern Virginia, and Howard County since February.

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.

Montgomery County police spokeswoman Janelle Smith said the “Lion Man” is probably the same person who tried to rob a bank in Silver Spring on Thursday and robbed banks in White Oak and Wheaton.

At around noon on Thursday, a Lions-cap wearing man went to a SunTrust inside a Safeway at 11261 New Hampshire Ave. and slid the teller a note. But he grabbed the note back and left the bank when the bank employee hesitated, Montgomery County police said in a news release.

Police think the same person robbed a Capital One bank at 11241 Georgia Ave., near Westfield Wheaton mall, on April 28.

On April 21, a male in a similar outfit — Lions cap, dark sunglasses and dark clothes — robbed another Capital One branch in White Oak, at 11261 New Hampshire Ave., and tried to rob a Wells Fargo Bank in Baltimore, according to the FBI.

Surveillance photos of Thursday’s robbery attempt at SunTrust and from the April 28 robbery in White Oak were posted at the police department’s official news blog, MyMCPNews.com.

Smith said that Montgomery County police and the FBI were working together on the investigation.

The robber was described as a man about 40 years old with a salt-and-pepper-flecked beard and mustache. According to the FBI, he has handed tellers a note demanding money and threatening to use a weapon.

Those with information are asked to call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or the FBI’s Baltimore Division at 410-265-8080.

tarnold@gazette.net