Robber Apprehended 3 Hours After West OC Bank Holdup; Charging Documents Recount Timeline

WEST OCEAN CITY — A local woman, arrested this week after allegedly holding up a West Ocean City bank on Monday, had a busy morning in the hours leading up to the crime including changing clothes before and after in a nearby fast-food restaurant.

Shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, the Maryland State Police (MSP) Berlin barrack received a 911 call from the Farmers Bank of Willards branch in the White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City reporting a robbery. A bank employee told police a white female had entered the bank and demanded money.

The MSP, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and allied local law enforcement agencies responded and a search for the suspect was launched including police aviation and K-9 units. Around 12:15 p.m. on Monday, MSP troopers located and arrested the suspect, identified as Bonnie Gay Bozman Taylor, 56, of West Ocean City.

According to charging documents, Taylor entered the bank shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday dressed all in black and wearing a knit hat. Taylor handed the bank teller a hand-written note stating, “I have a gun, I will kill you,” according to police reports. The teller who was handed the note then handed over a significant amount of currency including “bait money” with serial numbers recorded. Taylor then fled the scene on foot.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the bank and captured an image of Taylor. Detectives then went to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant near the bank and reviewed its surveillance video, which also included images of Taylor. An employee at KFC positively identified Taylor from the surveillance images from both the restaurant and the bank. The employee told detectives she had first met Taylor at a shelter in Salisbury and later reconnected with her at a similar shelter in West Ocean City.

Surveillance video from KFC shows Taylor entering the restaurant and ordering a cup of coffee before entering the ladies’ room. Taylor can then be seen walking in front of the KFC in the direction of the bank just before the robbery occurred. The KFC video then shows Taylor re-entering the KFC after the robbery and entering the ladies’ room again before emerging in different clothes.

Detectives located Taylor at the Worcester Addiction Cooperative Service Center (WACS) around 12:15 p.m. on Monday. According to police reports, she had the black bag handed to her by the bank teller containing most of the stolen cash concealed in her underwear, including bills with the serial numbers recorded as the bait money.

Taylor was arrested and charged with armed robbery and other serious charges and was transported to the MSP Berlin barrack where she agreed to speak with detectives. Taylor told police she left the West Ocean City shelter at 7:30 a.m. and walked to the KFC. She told police she ordered a coffee and spoke to an employee about employment at the restaurant.

Taylor told police around 8:50 a.m., she went into the restroom and changed into her all-black clothes. She told police she left a gray sweatshirt she was wearing when she entered the KFC in the restroom while she was at the bank. Taylor told police she returned to the KFC after the robbery and went back into the ladies’ room, putting on the same gray sweatshirt she had left behind prior to the robbery.

Taylor said she then walked down the road with the bag handed to her by the teller in her sweatshirt pocket until she was picked up by an acquaintance. Taylor said the two drove to a nearby convenience store first, and then to the WACS Center where she was apprehended.

Taylor had a bail hearing on Tuesday morning and was ordered to be held without bond pending a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing has been set for March 3. On Wednesday, she was committed to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for a competency examination.