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Update - Police Charge Previous Offenders In a Home Invasion







          Eligwe                            Bell                                 Slobig                            Griner

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Robbery Section have charged two men for a home invasion robbery that occurred in Gaithersburg on
January 18.

The suspects charged were Timothy Michael Slobig, age 29, of the 9100 block of Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, and Richol Fernan Griner, age 30, of no fixed address. Slobig and Griner were also two of four men who were charged with the February 19 armed robbery of the Commerce Bank in Rockville.

On February 19 at approximately 7:34 a.m., 1st District officers responded to a bank alarm at the Commerce Bank located at 350 East Gude Drive in Rockville. Preliminary investigation revealed that three bank employees arriving at work were approached by three suspects armed with shotguns and handguns. The suspects forced the bank employees into the bank and then into the area of the vault, where the suspects demanded cash. A female employee was struck in the head with a shotgun. The suspects gained access to the vault, removed an undisclosed amount of cash, robbed the employees of property, and fled the scene in a burgundy sports utility vehicle. It was later discovered that the truck had been stolen in a carjacking in Silver Spring on February 15.

During the investigation, it was learned that an employee of the bank, Jude A. Eligwe, age 21, of the 7300 block of Oliver Street in Lanham, had aided Slobig, Griner, and a third party, Giovanni Bell, age 44, of the 9100 block of Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, in the robbery of the bank.

Eligwe was arrested on February 20 for the bank robbery. Slobig, Griner, and Bell were arrested on February 23, during an unrelated traffic stop. The following charges were filed and bond applied: 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, and was held on $500,000 bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center; Bell was charged with armed robbery and making false statements; Slobig and Griner were charged with armed robbery; Bell, Slobig, and Griner were held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

At the time of the bank robbery, detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Robbery Section were also investigating a home invasion that had occurred on the evening of January 18, 2007.

On January 18 at 11:00 p.m., a 21-year-old man and a 21-year-old friend, both from Gaithersburg, as well as a 20-year-old friend from Richmond, were returning to an apartment in the 17000 block of Downing Street in Gaithersburg, when they were approached by two male suspects. One suspect displayed a knife, and the other a shotgun. The victims were forced to open the door to the apartment. Once inside, the suspects stole cash and property, before leaving on foot in an unknown direction. The victims were not injured during the robbery.

During the course of the investigation of the Commerce Bank robbery, information was developed and property was recovered connecting Slobig and Griner to the home invasion. Arrest warrants were obtained charging Slobig and Griner with the home invasion robbery.

On March 19, Slobig and Griner, still incarcerated at the Montgomery County Detention Center for the bank robbery, were served arrest warrants for the home invasion, charging them with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault. They still remain incarcerated at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

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Contact: Media Services Division   Phone: 240.773.5030

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Last edited: 1/15/2007