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OfiQDUHOOL @montgomerynews.com A distinctive sweatshirt may have saved a Sovereign Bank branch in Cheltenham from being held up for a third time July 22.
When the Sovereign Bank at 300 Central Avenue was held up for a second time June 13 — WKH fiUVW h o l d u p o c c u r r e d May 28 — the robber was wearing a blue and white striped, hooded sweatshirt. The robber was believed responsible for the armed robbery of six banks in the Philadelphia region from mid-May to mid-July this year, according to the Montgomery County DisWULFW AWWRUQHy’V 2IfiFH.
A Cheltenham police offiFHU wRUNLQJ D WDVN IRUFH bank detail at 9 a.m. Monday observed a Ford Taurus circling the Sovereign Bank in Cheltenham and noticed that the operator of the vehicle was wearing a blue and white striped, hooded sweatshirt, according to police.
Demetrious Washington, 26, of Philadelphia, who was driving the vehicle, matched the description of the serial bank robber and was pulled over and taken into custody. He later confessed to his involvement in a number of the robberies, according to the press release from the DA’V RIfiFH.
Washington is believed responsible for the two bank robberies in Cheltenham; the PNC Bank at 6855 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, on May 15; the Wells Fargo Bank at 6611 Castor Ave., Philadelphia, on May 23; the Wells Fargo Bank at 2650 Huntingdon Pike, Lower Moreland, on June 19; and the Wells Fargo Bank at 620 Huntingdon Pike, Rock
Montgomery Media staff writer Thomas Celona contributed to this article. ledge, on July 10.
In each robbery, the suspect was described as being either a black or Hispanic male, 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a thin build, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a scarf covering his face. The suspect was also armed with what appeared to be a silver revolver, the release said.
3ROLFH RIfiFHUV IURP WKH municipalities in which the holdups occurred, along with RIfiFHUV IURP $bLnJWRn DnG Upper Southampton townships, created a task force to conduct surveillance at banks in their respective jurisdicWLRnV, WKH D$’V RIfiFH VDLG.
Monday that surveillance paid off.
Washington was charged with multiple counts of robbery, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats and theft by deception. He was arraigned before District Judge Christopher Cerski and was taken to Montgomery County Prison in lieu of bail set at A1 million. A preliminary hearing is scheduled before Cerski Aug. 5.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jesse S. King.