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Contact: Lucille Baur 240-773-5030
or Eric Burnett240-773-5030
Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division Robbery Section announce arrests in the robbery of the Commerce Bank that occurred on February 19, in Rockville. This incident was investigated by Montgomery County Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The arrested defendants are: Jude A. Eligwe, age 21, of the 7300 block of Oliver Street in Lanham; Timothy Slobig, age 28, of no fixed address; Giovanni Bell, age 44, of the 9100 block of Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring; and Richol Griner, age 30, of no fixed address. Eligwe was charged with theft over $500, conspiracy to commit theft over $500, three counts of first-degree assault, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and the use of a handgun in a crime of violence. He is being held on $500,000 bond. Slobig was charged with armed robbery. He is being held without bond. Bell was charged with armed robbery and making false statements. He is being held without bond. Griner was charged with armed robbery, and is being held without bond.
Through the investigation, Eliqwe, who was an employee at the bank at the time of the robbery, was developed as a suspect and arrested on February 20. The remaining three suspects were arrested on February 23, during an unrelated traffic stop. After further investigation it was learned that they were all involved in the bank robbery.
On February 19, at approximately 7:34 a.m., employees of the Commerce Bank located at 350 E. Gude Drive in Rockville were preparing to open for business. At that time two male suspects entered the bank wearing masks and armed with shotguns and handguns. Another employee arrived at the bank and was accosted by a third armed suspect outside the bank, and forced inside. The suspects forced the bank employees into the vault area. When the vault could not be opened quickly, one of the employees was struck in the head with a firearm several times, sustaining serious lacerations. An undisclosed amount of cash was obtained from the vault. The suspects fled in what was described as a burgundy-colored sports utility vehicle. It was later learned that a vehicle matching that description was reported stolen in a carjacking that occurred in Silver Spring on February 15.
The female victim has been released from the hospital and continues to recover from the injuries she received.