GPS de­vice used to track ‘Avi­a­tor’ rob­bery sus­pect

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Ali­son Kneze­vich al­isonk@balt­ twit­

Po­lice used a GPS de­vice hid­den in money to track the bank rob­bery sus­pect whose al­leged ac­com­plice was shot and killed by a Bal­ti­more County of­fi­cer last week, po­lice said in court doc­u­ments.

A teller at the Wells Fargo Bank on Reis­ter­stown Road in Pikesville gave the cash with the track­ing de­vice to the sus­pect dur­ing the rob­bery Fri­day, po­lice said in the doc­u­ments filed in Dis­trict Court in Tow­son.

Po­lice have iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as 45-year-old Michael E. Strat­ton of Bal­ti­more.

Strat­ton was the pas­sen­ger in a Ford Tau­rus driven by 33-year-old Od­dis Bernard Colvin Jr., ac­cord­ing to po­lice. Po­lice said the two men were flee­ing from the bank Fri­day af­ter­noon when they en­coun­tered po­lice at a road­block set up near Old Court and Falls roads to thwart their es­cape.

Po­lice say Colvin pulled out of a line of stopped traf­fic, crossed the cen­ter line and drove to­ward an of­fi­cer.

The of­fi­cer shot Colvin through the wind­shield. He later died.

Po­lice have not iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cer who killed Colvin.

Po­lice say Strat­ton is the man dubbed “The Avi­a­tor” for his style of sun­glasses. Last week, the FBI pub­li­cized a $5,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of “The Avi­a­tor,” who was wanted in con­nec­tion with a string of bank rob­beries in Dun­dalk and Bal­ti­more this month.

Po­lice say Strat­ton en­tered the Wells Fargo branch in the 1500 block of Reis­ter­stown Road about 1 p.m. Fri­day and handed a note to a bank teller.

“This is a rob­bery,” the note read in part, po­lice said in a state­ment of charges. The bank teller could not read the en­tire note be­cause the man’s hand was block­ing it.

The man told her, “Give me all your money, all big bills and twen­ties too,” po­lice said. The teller took about $1,990 in cash from her drawer, and gave it to him along with the GPS tracker. Po­lice did not say where the tracker was placed.

Once the man left the bank, po­lice said, the de­vice was ac­ti­vated “and in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­gan to live track the di­rec­tion of move­ment and pre­cise lo­ca­tion” of the de­vice.

“The lo­ca­tions were im­me­di­ately broad­cast over the po­lice ra­dio and ... pa­trol of­fi­cers be­gan to search for the sus­pect,” po­lice said.

The doc­u­ments do not in­clude de­tails of the po­lice shoot­ing.

Po­lice said of­fi­cers found Strat­ton ly­ing in the back seat of the Tau­rus. A large amount of cash was on the seat, po­lice said.

Po­lice found $681 and a note in Strat­ton’s pants pocket, po­lice said. The note read, “This is a rob­bery Big Bills $100’s $50’s & $20’s NO dye pack ! NO GPS! Do just this -N- all will be ok.”

No weapons were found in the car, po­lice say.

Po­lice say Strat­ton is also sus­pect in a bank rob­bery Sept. 1 in Dun­dalk and two other bank rob­beries in Bal­ti­more.

Strat­ton faces charges in the Pikesville rob­bery. He was be­ing held with­out bail Mon­day at the Bal­ti­more County De­ten­tion Cen­ter. He did not have an at­tor­ney listed in court records.

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