Four Indicted in Scheme to Steal $588,000 from an Armored Car
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted, Bennie Hugh Pelham age 35, and Gary Gregory Lane, Jr., age 26, both of Oxon Hill, Maryland; Edward Lewis Mayo, age 32 of Temple Hills, Maryland; and Damon Keith Pritchett, age 32, of Annapolis, for bank larceny and conspiracy to commit bank larceny in connection with a scheme to steal over $588,000 from an armored car, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on August 6, 2008 and unsealed today upon the arrests of the defendants.
According to the two count indictment, Pelham worked as an automated teller machine (ATM) technician for a company that served banks and financial institutions by delivering cash via armored car to their ATMs and replenishing the ATMs with cash. Pelham was responsible for transporting cash from the company’s office in Lorton, Virginia to ATMs in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and replenishing the ATMs. Lane was formerly employed by the company and Mayo and Pritchett were associates of Pelham.
The indictment alleges that on June 29, 2008 Pelham, Lane and Mayo met at Pelham’s residence in Oxon Hill, Maryland and discussed how best to steal money from a company armored car, agreeing that Lane would steal money on a weekend from a specific vehicle driven by Pelham, because Pelham worked alone on weekends and this vehicle’s driver’s-side door did not lock properly. On July 5, 2008, after Pelham had parked his armored van at the Wheaton Shopping Center in Wheaton, Maryland, and left to replenish an ATM with cash, Lane entered the van and took approximately $588,000. Pelham returned to the van and, upon seeing that the money in the van had been stolen, telephoned 911 and reported the theft.
According to the indictment, after Pelham spoke with police at the Wheaton police station, he traveled to Temple Hills, where he met with Mayo and learned that Lane had taken a share of the stolen money and given the rest to Mayo to share with Pelham. Pelham asked Mayo to hide the money, believing that the police would execute search warrants at their residences. Pritchett arrived and joined the conversation, agreeing to hide the money for Pelham and Mayo. The indictment alleges that Pritchett buried two bags containing $103,780 and $220,980, respectively, in separate locations in a wooded area in Temple Hills. Lane concealed a bag containing $280,000 in a closet in his residence in Oxon Hill.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for conspiracy and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for bank larceny. The defendants had their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland this afternoon.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. Hur, who is prosecuting the case.