SALISBURY – An Ocean City man arrested last August on armed robbery charges after passing a note to a teller at a Salisbury bank threatening to “blow up” the institution, was found guilty this week to attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in jail, all of which was suspended but eight years.
Around 10:30 a.m. last Aug. 4, an unidentified man entered a PNC Bank branch in Salisbury and passed a note to a teller demanding money. According to police reports, the suspect did not display a weapon, but passed a note to the teller saying, “give me your drawer or I will blow up now.” According to investigators, the suspect then panicked and fled the bank without obtaining any money.
Salisbury Police responded to the scene and were able to capture images of the suspect on the bank’s surveillance cameras. The images captured on the surveillance cameras were released to the local media and, based on information provided by the public, detectives were able to start putting together the identity of the suspect, later identified as Munther Saleh Haddad, whose known address was on 130th Street in Ocean City.
Based on information gathered during the investigation, Salisbury Police detectives were able to determine Haddad was at a residence in Berlin. He was arrested there later that same afternoon. Haddad was charged with two counts of attempted armed robbery, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, attempted theft and arson threat, the latter for threatening to blow up the bank.
On Wednesday, Haddad appeared in Circuit Court in Wicomico County for trial. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, but was found guilty on all but the reckless endangerment charge, presumably because he did not actually produce a weapon when he passed the ill-fated note to the bank teller.
The remaining charges were all merged with the attempted armed robbery charge for the purpose of sentencing. Haddad was then sentenced to 20 years in jail with all but eight years suspended, which he will serve with the state’s Department of Corrections.
The Wicomico County Circuit Court judge recommended Haddad be eligible for any drug treatment programs available at the Department of Corrections.