WEST OCEAN CITY — Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the early Tuesday morning robbery of the PNC Bank in West Ocean City and both are believed to be connected to a string of robberies in Pennsylvania over the weekend, although Maryland State Police investigators do not believe there is a connection with the robbery of a bank in Ocean City on Wednesday morning.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
Shortly after 9 a.m. on Tuesday, an unidentified male entered the PNC Bank on Route 50 near the intersection with Route 611 and demanded money. No money was given and the suspect fled the scene. No injuries were reported, nor was any weapon displayed.
Early on, with the help of the media and social networks, a possible connection was developed to a series of bank robberies in Pennsylvania late last week and the video surveillance pictures captured during those crimes revealed the suspect appeared very similar to the suspect wanted in connection with the West Ocean City bank robbery on Tuesday, including a distinctive tattoo on his left arm.
Maryland State Police and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office investigators worked throughout the afternoon and evening, following up on leads that resulted in the arrest of two suspects in connection with the West Ocean City robbery on Tuesday. One suspect has been identified as Heath Derizzo, 36, of Harrisburg, Pa., who was detained shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday night in Salisbury. A second suspect, identified as Dale Mentzer, 35, of Newmanstown, Pa., was also detained in Salisbury around the same time on Tuesday night.
Derizzo was also wanted by the Pennsylvania State Police on an outstanding warrant for parole violations and additional charges are pending against him in Pennsylvania relating to numerous additional robberies. Mentzer is also wanted by the Pennsylvania State Police on an outstanding arrest warrant for armed robbery. Additional charges against him are also pending in Pennsylvania.
MSP investigators were expected to charge Derizzo and Mentzer on Wednesday afternoon for their involvement in the PNC Bank robbery in West Ocean City on Tuesday. Investigative leads were developed and members of the MSP Apprehension Team and the Gang Enforcement Unit were able to locate the suspects in the Salisbury area. Both were taken into custody along with their associates.
Search warrants have been executed on a local motel room in the Salisbury area as well as the vehicle used by the suspects. Investigators are currently reviewing all of the evidence collected. Investigators in Pennsylvania have been contacted and made aware the suspects are in custody. All of the suspects believed to be involved with the PNC Bank robbery in West Ocean City are now in custody. The suspects are not believed to be part of a larger group. In addition, investigators do not believe that the PNC Bank robbery in West Ocean City yesterday and the robbery of the Susquehanna Bank in Ocean City early Wednesday morning are connected in any way. That investigation is ongoing, however, as the suspect in that crime has not been apprehended.
Ocean City Police have reported, “At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, Ocean City police responded to the Susquehanna Bank at 9405 Coastal Highway in reference to a bank robbery. At this time the suspect is still at large. The suspect is described as a white male, thin and muscular, in his early to mid-20’s wearing a red baseball cap, red polo shirt, and khaki dress pants. Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6600.”