Phony bomb bank robber hits 3 banks

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - December 30, 2008 Authorities say a witness described a phony explosive used to rob an M&T Bank on Monday in a Lancaster-area shopping center as resembling a water bottle with tape wrapped around it.

Four nearby stores were evacuated and half the Wheatland Shopping Center's parking lot was cleared while police searched. Officials say 37-year-old Ronald Brown was found near a creek behind the center with a bag of stolen cash.

Brown is being held in Lancaster County Prison on $250,000 bail. Investigators say he's also expected to be charged in bank robberies in Lancaster and Manheim townships, also using phony bombs.

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Information from: Intelligencer Journal, http://www.lancasteronline.com/pages/paper/sundaynews/

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