UPDATE: Shootout Helps Seal Alexandria Bank Robbery Case
The well-dressed man killed in a shootout with Prince George’s County police last month was “Dapper Dan,” the fedorawearing thief who robbed a bank in January in Old Town Alexandria, police have determined. “Detectives were able to conclude that Michael Terry Smith, the man who was killed in the shootout, was the same man who robbed the bank in January,” said Amy Bertsch, spokeswoman for the Alexandria police.
Bertsch said police have closed the case, one of three bank robberies in the city this year.
Smith, nicknamed “Dapper Dan” by Alexandria police because of the spiffy fedora, suit and dress coat he wore the day he robbed the Virginia Commerce branch on King Street, died after trading gunfire with Prince George’s police officers and FBI agents March 22.
Smith had holed himself up in an apartment in the Forestville area of the county after police attempted to execute a search warrant that accused him of threatening U.S. Capitol Police officers.
During the nine-hour standoff, Smith, who had a handgun, took a shower. He then donned a suit and shined his shoes, an FBI spokesman said at the time.
The clothing he put on the day he was killed was reminiscent of the attire he wore Jan. 26, when he robbed the Alexandria bank. That day, Alexandria police said, Smith was “wearing a grey fedora hat with a black band, a shirt and tie, a . . . long dress coat and dress shoes.” His coat was cinched at the waist with a belt, and he carried a leather briefcase.
The officers had gone to the apartment after Smith’s girlfriend reported Smith’s alleged involvement in a bank robbery, the FBI said.
Smith, 42, died after state police troopers and FBI agents fired 10 tear gas canisters into the apartment and forced their way in. An FBI spokesman said at the time that shots were fired but that it was unclear whether Smith died of a self-inflicted wound or was struck by police fire.
FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the FBI believes that Smith was “involved in other crimes,” perhaps in other states.
Bertsch said Alexandria investigators had been interested in talking to Smith even before the shootout.
She said Smith was unique for a bank robber because of his natty style of dress.
“This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to say ‘fedora’ in connection with a crime,” Bertsch said.
— Daniela Deane
Bank surveillance at Virginia Commerce on King Street, Alexandria, shows the robber and his distinctive apparel.