When Theresa Bolton arrived home Monday night, she couldn't wait to describe the scene she witnessed in the parking lot of the Crofton Giant: Angry store employees armed with sticks chased a man who had robbed the store minutes earlier.
But there was no need to explain. The robber had made his way to her neighborhood about a mile away, and now her husband and neighbors were chasing him.
"I was coming out of the Giant and I saw about four or six of the men chasing the other man out onto Route 3," said Bolton, 31. "They had a car surrounded. I saw the car leave and then I got home and found an ambulance here and it was the same guys. Of all the places he could have gone, he ends up in my court."
Anne Arundel County Police have charged Thornell Dewitt Marshall, 30, of the 900 block Falls Ridge Way in Gambrills, with kidnapping and robbery, police spokesman Sgt. Joseph H. Bisesi said. He was being held yesterday in the County Detention Center in Annapolis.
Police said the rampage began about 8 p.m. when a man entered the Giant store on Route 3 in Crofton, pushed aside a cashier who was working at the first register and grabbed about $450 from the register before running out the doors.
Several Giant employees armed with sticks chased the man across Route 3 and into the median strip.
Beth Ann Smith, 25, of Glen Burnie was sitting in her car at the intersection of routes 3 and 424 with her 2-year-old daughter when the group ran toward her. The robber reached into the passenger side of the car, unlocked the door and got in, according to police reports. Store employees banged on the car with the sticks, breaking out the back window.
From the back seat, the robber threatened to cut Smith with a knife if she didn't drive away, police reports said. He forced her to make a series of turns, ending up in front of a residence in the 1700 block Floral Court, a dead-end street.
Richard Glass, 24, who lives at the address, was next door at Theresa Bolton's home.
"I heard a car pull up and a lady was screaming," he said. "She was yelling for help."
A pregnant Smith and her daughter managed to escape from the car. Glass said the man in the car sped out of the parking lot backward.
"We took John's truck and blocked off Wilkshire Drive, so he couldn't get out," he said.
"If he did come out, I was going to ram him with my truck," said John Noel, 35, Glass' roommate.
Glass, Noel and about 20 other residents of the neighborhood began chasing the man driving Smith's car, which had jumped the curb at the end of the street. They found Smith's car, with the engine and lights on, at the bottom of a hill between two town houses.
The police said the robber had driven up on the grass between two houses and down some steps before abandoning the car and running into the woods.
An area resident spotted the robber at a gas station near the Prince George's County line about 12:15 a.m., where he was arrested.
"We were just trying to help," Glass said.
"There was a lady in trouble and you just can't not help someone," Noel said.
Bisesi said Marshall also is a suspect in the Oct. 3 robbery of a 7-Eleven store in Odenton, where the robber hit the clerk with a hammer and took $31, and Superfresh on Annapolis Road in Odenton Oct. 4, when $337 was taken.