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Bank robbery suspects arrested after police pursuit shuts down I-270

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Local and state police shut down an entire interstate freeway Tuesday in a successful effort to capture suspected bank robbers. It happened in the heart of Montgomery County in Rockville. And it appears police were helped by a radio device placed with the stolen cash.

The Wells Fargo Bank at the busy King Farm shopping center in Rockville had been hit by two stickup men at 10:02 a.m. They got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, and perhaps a radio transmitter stuffed amid the money. County police will say only they “got information from the bank” that the suspects were on the nearby interstate highway.

All traffic was stopped – in both directions -- on I-270. County police officers, state police officers, and a sheriff’s department deputy, with weapons drawn, (because the bank robbers were known to be armed), hastily looked-over most of the stopped cars.

Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police Department told reporters the armed officers were “systematically checking the trunks and rear hatches” of stopped vehicles.

One officer noticed a gun in a silver SUV. Three men from that car were handcuffed, questioned, and then taken into custody. Some money was recovered from that car. In the gridlock, some motorists briefly had gotten out of their vehicles, and police believe the bank robbers may have done the same.

Police found a sum of money that had been placed in the open part of a dump truck which was adjacent the suspect vehicle.

No shots were fired at the bank, and the suspected robbers did not resist when they were taken into custody on the highway.

It is expected the suspects will be charged with armed robbery. It is likely they will be arraigned on Wednesday.

Including Tuesday’s robbery, there have been a dozen bank robberies in Montgomery County so far this year. In 2013, there were a total of 25 bank robberies.

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