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Firefighter John Weyrich surprised his wife with flowers for her birthday and in the process became a surprise hero.

According to a report from WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., Weyrich and his wife were saying their good-byes Friday in the parking lot of the Capitol One Bank in Waldorf, Md., where she worked as a teller.

But when Weyrich noticed a man wearing a motorcycle helmet escorting a nervous teller out the back door, he knew something was wrong.

According to Diane Richardson of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, the helmeted robber had pulled a knife in the bank at about 10:40 a.m. and said, “You know what this is: This is a robbery. I want all your money.”

After the teller turned over “bags” of money, according to a local news report, the robber took her hostage until he could get outside and make what he thought would be a clean getaway on his motorcycle.

What he didn’t count on was Weyrich, a former Marine, springing into action.

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“He came back out the door with a bank worker right up against his side, let her go at the door and made a bee line to his bike,” Weyrich told WRC-TV.

But as the robber bolted on the bike, Weyrich jumped into his truck and took off after him.

“I was in the service for a while, the Marine Corps, so I guess it just comes second nature,” Weyrich explained. “When somebody hurts somebody, you tend to want to take care of it.”

While chasing the robber, WRC-TV reports, Weyrich called his wife from his cell phone.

“She was actually on the other end of the phone when I was relaying where I was and what was going on,” Weyrich told the station. “She was the one talking with the sheriff.”

Using Weyrich’s information, police were able to set up roadblocks, and the chase ended a few miles away when the suspect crashed into a tree and was surrounded by sheriff’s officers. The suspect was arrested, and the money and weapon were recovered.

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