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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two Leaders Of A Burglary Crew Sentenced To Prison

Robbed 13 Banks, Credit Unions and Retail Stores of at Least $250,000

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Aaron Thelbit Davis, age 39, of Baltimore today to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for bank larceny, in connection with a two year scheme to burglarize banks, credit unions and retail stores. Judge Bennett sentenced co-defendant Kenneth Alexander Manns, age 48, of Baltimore, yesterday to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for bank burglary. Judge Bennett also entered orders requiring that the defendants each pay $250,000 in restitution.

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger; and Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department.

According to their plea agreements, from May 2011 through May 2013, Davis and Manns conspired with a group of associates, including Donald Taylor, to steal money and property from 13 banks, credit unions and retail stores.

In order to avoid apprehension, the burglary crew would case the target location and assess the likelihood of obtaining valuables. One or more conspirators would stand as a look-out while others went inside gas stations, convenience stores, credit unions and other businesses in Maryland and Washington D.C., wearing either white paper suits or dark outfits, and masks and gloves, while communicating with handheld radios. The burglary crew would cut power and telephone lines, cables and other wires, and destroy, reposition or disconnect surveillance video cameras. They stole cash, safes, cash-register drawers and lock boxes. On several occasions, the burglary crew gained entry to the ATM room of the target location by carving a hole with a power saw from an adjacent retail space. They transported the stolen goods to their homes and businesses in Maryland.

For example, on March 19, 2011, Davis and Manns donned paper suits and black masks and forcibly gained entry to the ATM room of the Tower Federal Credit Union on Baltimore National Pike in Normandy Shopping Center in Ellicott City, Maryland, by cutting through the adjoining retail business. They waited for approximately one hour before entering the credit union’s ATM room, where they tried unsuccessfully to pry open the rear door of the ATM machine.

On August 17, 2012, Davis and Manns wore white paper Tyvek suits, black masks and gloves, and entered an ATM room of a bank in Washington, D.C. by carving a hole with a power saw from an adjacent retail space. When the Metropolitan Police responded to alarms, Davis and Manns fled before gaining access to the cash drawer of the ATM machine.

On April 28, 2013, shortly before midnight, Davis and Manns broke a glass window to the Edmondson Sunoco station in Catonsville, Maryland, and severed phone, cable and alarm power lines inside. Taylor served as a lookout from inside a van rented by Manns and parked nearby. After going behind the cashier area, Davis and Manns left and drove away from the gas station in a stolen U-Haul Ford van. Over an hour later, they returned, attempted to enter the manager’s office and then left the gas station again. At approximately 3:15 a.m., Manns and Davis returned to the gas station a third time, stole $200 from the cash register drawer and removed two store safes containing $10,080, while Taylor again served as a look-out. They loaded the safes into the stolen U-Haul van and drove away, while Taylor followed them in the van.

Donald Taylor, age 56, also of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on April 3, 2014.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Metropolitan Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015