On February 19, 2010 the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff responded to a reported bank robbery at the Chester PNC Bank located at 120 S. Piney Rd. Chester, MD. Sheriff R. G. Hofmann was one of the first arriving officers on location and assisted in securing the premises. D/Cpl. Stephen Stouffer and other members of the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff Criminal Investigations Unit arrived on location an conducted an investigation of the incident assisted by the Maryland State Police. The investigation revealed that a Caucasian male wearing a dark colored hooded jacket and baseball hat entered the PNC Bank, presented a note to the teller and fled the location with an excess of $1000.00. There were no reported any injuries as a result of the robbery or a weapon displayed. D/Cpl. Stouffer learned that the suspect was possibly responsible for several bank robberies in Frederick MD and Littlestown PA. On February 25, 2010 D/Cpl. Stouffer was advised that the suspect had been positively identified as Joseph James Hopkins of Frederick MD through fingerprints recovered from one of the Frederick bank robberies as well as the Chester PNC Bank robbery. D/Cpl. Stouffer received information that Hopkins had been arrested in Charles Town, WV on February 25, 2010 on local violations of the West Virginia narcotics laws as well as suspected involvement in another bank robbery on February 22, 2010 in Capon Bridge WV.
Upon being notified of Hopkins arrest, D/Sgt. Bruce Layton and D/Cpl. Stouffer responded to Charles Town, WV and recovered physical evidence from Hopkins’ hotel room in connection with the February 19, 2010 Chester PNC Bank robbery. On February 26, 2010 D/Cpl. Stouffer received an arrest warrant for Hopkins for the PNC Robbery. The investigation of this incident is continuing. Hopkins is currently in police custody in West Virginia and is awaiting an extradition hearing to return to Maryland for his pending charges.