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Off-Duty MCP Officer Observes Bank Robbery-Two Suspects Arrested

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 7, 2013


Yesterday at approximately 10:00 a.m., a subject entered the M&T Bank located at 9801 Main Street in Damascus and announced a robbery.  As the robbery was occurring, off-duty Montgomery County Police Officer William Morrison was operating his marked patrol vehicle (take-home car) in the bank drive-thru.  Officer Morrison observed the teller acting strangely and then was able to observe the robbery.  As the suspect exited the bank, he was confronted by Officer Morrison.  The suspect fled on foot across Woodfield Road with Officer Morrison in pursuit.  In the parking lot of the Damascus Library, the suspect attempted to enter a waiting vehicle being driven by another suspect.  The vehicle quickly left the library parking lot and was stopped a short distance away by Officer Morrison; the driver was taken into custody.  The suspect that had committed the robbery fled into a wooded area to the rear of the library.

Officer Morrison asked for assistance from units via his police radio.  Additional units, to include several off-duty Montgomery County police officers and an off-duty Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy, were quickly in the area.  An intensive search for the second suspect began with the assistance of patrol officers (to include units from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police), canine teams, and a Maryland State Police helicopter. The suspect was located in the wooded area behind the Damascus library by a Montgomery County Police canine team and was arrested without incident.

The suspect arrested in the wooded area is identified as Benjamin Edward Hansberger, age 23.  The driver of the get-away vehicle is identified as John Conley Laforce, age 42.  Both suspects are from Frederick County, Maryland.  Hansberger and Laforce are being charged with robbery.  As Hansberger fled from Officer Morrison, he dropped money from the robbery.  The money was located and seized by responding officers.

Benjamin Edward Hansberger and John Laforce are also being charged with the robbery of the same Damascus M&T Bank that occurred on May 17, 2013.

JMD / RLI

M&T Bank - DamascusM&T Bank - Damascus (Original Image)
John LaforceJohn Laforce (Original Image)
Benjamin HansbergerBenjamin Hansberger (Original Image)


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Release ID: 13-191
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases