Detectives investigate downtown bank robbery

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division – Robbery Section are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Monday at the American Bank located at 8630 Georgia Ave in Silver Spring.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Dec 28, third district officers responded for the report of a bank robbery that had just occurred. Through the course of the investigation, it was learned that two suspects armed with guns entered the bank and posed as customers before displaying their weapons and obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured. The suspects were last seen fleeing on foot in a northbound direction on Georgia Avenue.

The suspects were described as black men between the ages of 25 and 30. One is described as 6’0″ to 6’2″ tall, weighing between 190 and 200 pounds. He was wearing sunglasses, a dark-colored puffy vest, a blue shirt, and a black baseball cap. The other suspect was described as between 5’8″ and 5’10” tall, weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing jeans, sunglasses, a black jacket, and a black baseball cap.

Anyone with information about this incident and/or the suspects involved is asked to call the Robbery Section at 240-773-5100. Those who wish to remain anonymous should call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this felony crime.

Source: Montgomery County Police Department.

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Dogs, dopplegangers hit downtown pet fair

Photo: A girl and her dog hit Ellsworth Drive. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP.

Photo: A girl and her dog hit Ellsworth Drive. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP.

Editor’s note: One of the coolest (and toughest) tasks I’ve ever had as Penguin editor was to judge a people-pet lookalike contest in September. It’s harder than you think.

It wasn’t the bright sun or delirious craving for Chick-Fil-A waffle fries that had people doing double takes Sunday on Ellsworth Drive. It was the Dog Days of Downtown Silver Spring, which brought out people and their lookalike pets.

The street fair drew a steady crowd of humans and canines, and featured dog-food vendors and rescue leagues. But the highlight of that warm afternoon was the pet-people lookalike contest, during which Penguin editor Jennifer Deseo (yeah, that’s me) and two others passed vicious judgement on dogs and their dopplegangers. (more…)

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Muralist creates refuge in Fenton Village alley

Photo: Muralist Joel Bergner gets busy in the alley. Credit: R. Pace/SSP/

Credit: R. Pace/SSP.

Editor’s note: Penguin photog Ron Pace first spotted this piece of street art going up outside Fenton Village‘s Kefa Cafe in early June, but the real eye grabber was the artist’s tricked-out car.

At first glance, some people notice bright colors and broad faces beaming from the dingy alley off Bonifant Street. Others notice the kid carrying an AK-47 over his shoulder.

Either way, the mural sprouting outside Kefa Cafe in Fenton Village has drawn the neighborhood’s attention. Each figure on that brick wall has a story to tell. So does the guy painting them.

Joel Bergner has painted murals in San Francisco, Chicago and The District, most with a nod to the immigrants who make up those neighborhoods. They also reflect his peripatetic life, as he rolls from one city to the next in his pimped-out ride. (more…)

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Style: ‘Slumdog’ meets Silver Spring

Photo: Sari at Chaubara Studio. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP

Photo: Sari at Chaubara Studio. Credit: J. Deseo/SSP

Editor’s note: Honestly, I don’t know whether the term “slumdog” is derogatory, as suggested in this article’s “Holler back” section. What I do know is that movie execs gave the green light to use it in the title of Danny Boyle’s Oscar winner “Slumdog Millionaire”. The flick took home eight statuettes, including one for best picture, in February 2009.

The day after the Academy Awards ceremony was a busy one for Mahima Poddar. The phone at her downtown Chaubara Fashion Studio rang incessantly with calls for Bollywood bling and the latest in Indian-inspired fashions.

It seemed “Slumdog” fever — the condition that triggers spontaneous bhangra moves and cheers of “Jai ho!” — had hit Silver Spring.

“Indian jewelry has an ancient style and intricate patterns drawn from history,” Poddar said of South Asian shine. “There are no simple, straight-out designs.” (more…)

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Courtesy of Flickr user jeffreylowy

Courtesy of Flickr user jeffreylowy

Editor’s note: Penguin staffers continued January’s frosty schlep to the National Mall to witness the 44th inaugural ceremony. Read the first part here.

After an hour of jostling through the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station, Penguin staffers climbed the inoperative escalators onto D Street. The narrow road, framed on all sides by boxy government buildings and concrete jersey barriers, was surprisingly clear of human traffic, further baffling the backup inside the Metro station.

Clumps of people rolled down D Street (below) like dust bunnies until more and more of them formed a larger lint pile. Soon, everyone formed a contiguous sheet of spare bits bunching up at Seventh Street and Independence Avenue. (more…)

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Trek to history: Before the dawn’s early light

Courtesy of Flickr user jeffreylowy

Courtesy of Flickr user jeffreylowy

Editor’s note: Sure, everyone with a television, radio or Internet connection knew how the 44th inaugural ceremony played out nearly one year ago. Here’s how things went down for Penguin staffers on that frigid January morning.

To bear witness to history, one must wake at some ungodly hour for the best seat. Silver Spring resident Elizabeth Buie was already at the Silver Spring Metro station by 4:55 a.m. and reported via Twitter that Red Line cars were packed.

@ebuie: Just left Silver Spring station. Standing room only. Here we go! — 4:55 AM Tuesday from mobile web

Penguins don’t rise that early, so staffers hit the streets just before 7:00 a.m., along with everyone else in the hood. The first order of business that morning: acquire nosh. (more…)

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