Reader tip leads to suspect in attempted bank heist

Crime,Emily Babay

The suspect in an attempted bank robbery near the National Cathedral has been apprehended, thanks to a tip from an alert reader of The Washington Examiner, according to the FBI.

Theodore Parker, 26, was taken into custody after a reader recognized his photograph in an Examiner story in Tuesday's newspaper about a man who tried to rob the SunTrust branch located at 3440 Wisconsin Ave. NW last Thursday.

The reader recognized the robber as someone who had been staying at the Father McKenna Center's homeless shelter, and alerted a staff member there, according to charging documents filed in the District's federal court.

A security officer stationed at the center, located at 19 I St. NW, detained him until police arrived.

Parker was arrested Tuesday morning, FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said.

"It was really quick that someone saw his photo and saw him and called it in," she said.

Parker is accused of walking into the bank at about 10:35 a.m. and writing a note to a teller demanding money. Court documents say he turned around and left the bank after the teller questioned him. Parker didn't obtain any cash and no one was injured in the attempted heist.

Authorities who responded to the shelter noted that Parker matched the description witnesses gave of the robber.

Like the robbery suspect, Parker had a tattoo under his left eye, was wearing shoes similar to those worn by the suspect and carrying a black "Under Armour" backpack, according to court documents.

One of the witnesses to the attempted robbery later selected Parker's mug shot from a photo array, the documents say.

No lawyer was listed for Parker in court records on Wednesday.

Godwin said authorities don't believe Parker is responsible for any other bank robberies in the Washington region.

Tips from Examiner readers have led to the arrest of at least 37 wanted fugitives and suspects in the D.C. area over the past three years, including convicted murderers, kidnappers, sex offenders, rapists and scam artists.

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