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71-year-old man charged for armed robbery of six banks in Montgomery County

James Wersick was stopped by an officer after exiting a PNC Bank in Potomac, Maryland on Aug. 4. He later admitted to robberies of five other local banks.

POTOMAC, Md. — A 71-year-old man is in custody after attempting to rob a PNC Bank in Potomac Wednesday night, and admitting to five other bank robberies in Montgomery County, police said.

Montgomery County Police said they received a call at 10:09 a.m. on Aug. 4 from an employee inside the PNC Bank off River Road in Potomac, saying the location was being held up by gunpoint.

Once at the bank, a patrol officer saw a man matching the description provided by the teller exiting the doors and attempted to stop him. The man, later identified as 71-year-old James Wersick, refused, telling the officer he was a customer.

The patrol officer then grabbed Wersick, stopping him from putting his hands in his pockets. While he was being apprehended, police said a gun fell out of Wersick's pants that matched the description provided by the teller. 

After searching him, officers also found a white bag with a large sum of cash and three knives.

Officers said Wersick entered the bank and began to yell at the customers and employees to move to a corner, then pointing a gun at the teller and telling her he had been watching her and knew where she lived. He demanded she put money into a white bag he had brought with him and then attempted to leave, where he encountered the officer.

Detectives said Wersick's physical description matched that of other armed bank robberies in the area and that Wersick admitted to five other Montgomery County robberies:

  • Jan. 27, 2012: approximately 9:35 a.m., M & T Bank, 10100 River Road, Potomac
  • Jan. 8, 2014: approximately 9:15 a.m., Capital One Bank, 7340 Westlake Terrace, Bethesda
  • Dec. 9, 2014:  approximately 12:00 p.m., M & T Bank, 10420 Montgomery Avenue, Kensington
  • Feb. 13, 2016: approximately 9:18 a.m., PNC Bank, 10211 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda
  • Feb.13, 2016: approximately 9:46 a.m., M & T Bank, 10420 Montgomery Avenue, Kensington

Wersick has since been charged with six counts of armed robbery and "additional charges related to those crimes."

RELATED: VIDEO: DC man assaulted with deadly weapons, robbed by two men

RELATED: Anne Arundel County officer charged for allegedly stealing firearms from dead person's home

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