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Fredericksburg police identify bank robbery suspect

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The man accused of robbing a Fredericksburg bank Wednesday afternoon has been identified as 24-year-old Maxwell Lynell Penny.

Penny, a city resident, is charged with bank robbery, brandishing a firearm, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and wearing a mask in public.

He is being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

According to Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe, PNC Bank at 1001 Gordon Shelton Blvd. was robbed at 3:48 p.m. The bank is near near the Wegmans grocery store in Celebrate Virginia South.

A man wearing a mask and displaying a handgun demanded cash from a teller and fled with an undisclosed amount.

Witnesses saw the robber running and pointed out his direction of travel to city police, who already happened to be in the area.

By 3:51 p.m.—just three minutes after the robbery—Officer Dan Finn spotted the suspect near the pool at the nearby Homewood Suites and held him at gunpoint until other officers arrived a few minutes later to assist in the arrest.

The suspect refused to give his name, Bledsoe said, and was initially arrested under the name John Doe.

By Thursday, police had identified the man as Penny.

The money taken in the robbery was found near Wegmans along the route the suspect had been seen fleeing. The handgun believed to have been used in the robbery was also found.

Bledsoe said police have come across no vehicle associated with the suspect.

Penny has had several traffic-related convictions in area localities, including driving on a revoked license and speeding, but no prior felony arrests.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 13 in Fredericksburg General District Court.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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