An attempted bank robbery in the Urbana area on Tuesday was apparently thwarted when the culprit approached an employee in training to demand money, according to court charging documents.
It was about 10 a.m. when a man, later identified as Jerry Lee Tolbert Jr., barged into the Bank of America at 3371 Worthington Blvd. with his hood up and a white and gray bandanna covering the lower half of his face, according to the documents. Tolbert shouted at employees, asking if they knew what time it was, and then, while displaying what appeared to be a handgun, approached one of the tellers and placed a plastic bag on the counter in front of her. Tolbert demanded that the teller fill the bag with cash, only to learn that the employee, who was only on her third day of working at the branch and was being trained in the job at the time, did not yet have access to any money, according to the documents.
Although the new teller called for another employee, Tolbert apparently decided to abandon his plan to rob the bank, running out the door to a red Hyundai Sonata that he had left running in the parking lot to escape, the documents state.
Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the bank a short time later and canvassed the area for the getaway car, eventually locating it and Tolbert in the park-and-ride lot at Md. 75 and Baldwin Road, about 7 miles from the bank, according to the documents. Tolbert, who was still wearing some of the same clothes he was seen wearing on the bank’s surveillance footage, was taken to the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center, where he refused to talk about the robbery and demanded an attorney.
Tolbert was then taken to Frederick Health Hospital for a checkup when he became incoherent and told deputies that he had recently used heroin, the documents state.
Deputies seized further evidence from the Sonata, including a black pellet gun, the plastic bag detectives believe Tolbert used in the robbery attempt and a fifth of Jim Beam apple-flavored bourbon, according to the documents. Tolbert was also wearing an ankle monitor at the time of his arrest that detectives used to further link him to the attempted robbery and lead them to the jacket Tolbert was seen wearing in surveillance footage, which he had apparently discarded in a nearby drainage pipe.
Investigators later learned that Tolbert was on probation for a criminal offense in Gaithersburg, the documents indicate.
Tolbert, 54, who had a Florida driver’s license and a registered address in the 17200 block of Elmer School Road in Poolesville, was charged with armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a firearm in a felony crime of violence.
Tolbert remained in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center awaiting a bail review hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday in District Court.