Cop Arrested and Charged in Bank Robbery

Published June 15, 2009

Prince George's County Police have charged a county police officer in a Temple Hills bank burglary.

Charging documents state that 52-year-old Earl Blake of Capitol Heights told investigators that Cpl. Eddie Smith Jr., gave him the tools, drove him to the SunTrust Bank in the 4600 block of Old Branch Avenue on Wednesday and stood guard in uniform while Blake tried to saw open the bank's ATM safe.

It's alleged that they cut power and alarm lines to the bank, and when the alarm sounded, Smith pretended to respond and declared an "all clear" to police dispatch. It is also alleged that hours later he stood watch as his cohort attempted to break into the ATM inside the bank.

The pair was caught only because a passing fire truck reported a suspicious scene. As a result, the 16-year veteran cop was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, a weapons charge and other offenses. Smith was also suspended without pay.

Blake was charged with burglary and other offenses.

Police Chief Roberto Hylton says he's disheartened by the charges and will not tolerate wrongdoing by any member of the agency.

Officials say an internal investigation will be conducted by the department's Special Investigative Response Team. 

Written by Associated Press

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