CRIME

Montgomery County officer foils bank robbery, two suspects caught

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Montgomery County Police say an off-duty officer who was waiting in the drive-thru at a bank saw it being robbed and helped capture two suspects.

Montgomery County Police Officer William Morrison

Officer William Morrison was in his cruiser, a take-home car, about 10 a.m. Thursday at M&T Bank in Damascus.

Morrison tells ABC7 he saw the teller acting strangely and saw the robbery.

"I can see behind the teller I'm talking to,” Morrison tells ABC7. “I can clearly see what's going on at the counter. I notice a guy approach the counter. He's threatening these people. I notice people now becoming nervous and scared."

And then the teller motions to Morrison, he says.

"She's able to shake her head - ’yes, this is a bank robbery going on.’"

Morrison drove to the front of the bank and confronted a suspect as he fled.

Officials say the suspect tried to get into a waiting car, which drove off without him.

And with Morrison in pursuit, the man who was hellbent on stealing cash from the bank, started throwing it away as he ran away.

"As he’s going down the sidewalk of the library, he's throwing cash over his shoulder," Morrison says.

Morrison stopped the getaway vehicle and arrested the driver.

The other suspect hid in a wooded area nearby. He was arrested after searches by officers from several agencies.

Twenty-three-year-old Benjamin Hansberger and 42-year-old John Conley Laforce, both of Frederick, have been charged with robbery.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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