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8.5.22 – Bethesda Magazine – BY CHRISTINE ZHU

Frederick man has a history of bank robberies spanning 45 years, police say

A Frederick man dubbed the “old man bandit” has been arrested and charged with several bank robberies in Montgomery and Baltimore counties, according to Montgomery County police.

Steven Gregory Gass, 67, has a history of robbing banks spanning 45 years, county police said in a release Friday afternoon. He was arrested July 14 after attempting to rob a Wells Fargo Bank on North Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg.

One of the first banks Gass robbed was in Montgomery County in 1977, according to police. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to robbing 19 banks between 2008 and 2009 in Florida.

Gass was granted a compassionate release from prison in 2019 for medical reasons and moved back to Maryland, where he lived with his elderly parents in Frederick at the time of his most recent arrest.

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According to the release, Montgomery County police and Gaithersburg City police responded to a call for an attempted bank robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank in the 600 block of North Frederick Avenue at approximately 9:36 a.m. July 14.

A white male wearing a light-colored fisherman’s hat, sunglasses and a large face mask entered the bank and approached a bank teller, according to the release. The suspect, later identified as Gass, handed the teller a handwritten note announcing a robbery.

The teller walked away and another bank employee hit the silent alarm, according to the release. Gass left the bank without receiving any money.

Officers arrested Gass without incident as he attempted to leave the area in a black two-door Honda Civic, the release said. Detectives later connected him to a June 18 bank robbery at Truist Bank on the 10400 block of Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda.

During that incident, Gass also wore a fisherman’s hat and a face mask and passed a handwritten note to the teller, according to police. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.

The release said Gass is also accused of robbing a bank in Baltimore County, but no details of that incident were provided.

Montgomery County and Baltimore County police served a residential search warrant July 21 at the home of Gass’ parents. The Baltimore County police recovered items of evidentiary value.

Gass is being held at the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit without bond in the two Montgomery County cases, and Baltimore County has obtained an arrest warrant, charging him with one count of robbery, the release said.

Christine Zhu of Gaithersburg, a rising junior at the University of Maryland who is studying journalism and Spanish, is the Bethesda Beat summer intern.