GPS device used to track ‘Aviator’ robbery suspect
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.