TRUCK STOP WORKER LIED ABOUT ROBBERY
A Trucker's Inn employee has told police he fabricated the report of a Thanksgiving Day robbery at the truck stop, and now admits to stealing the money himself in order to provide Christmas gifts for his common-law wife and their daughter, court records said.
Police have charged Gregory Banks, 24, of the 2000 block McEldry Street in Baltimore, with the theft of $183 from the truck stop and with making a false police report.
Banks, a fuel pump attendant, admitted to a police detective on Friday that he made up the robbery story, police said. Banks had claimed that three men, one of them armed, robbed him while he was working Thanksgiving morning, records said.
According to Banks' original report to police, the three men took the money from the truck stop, in the 7400 block Assateague Drive, then drove away in a red Chevrolet Nova with Florida license plates.
But in a police interview Friday, Banks told a police detective that he had been experiencing "money problems" recently, court records said. Banks and his wife are expecting another child soon, the court papers said.
"Concerned that he would not be able to provide his wife and daughter with Christmas gifts, Banks falsely reported the armed robbery at the Trucker's Inn," the court papers said. "According to Banks, he spent the money on Christmas gifts for his wife and daughter."
Banks has been released on $500 bond from the Howard County Detention Center.
"Banks expressed his regret concerning the incident and stated that he was sorry for what happened," court records said. "He (stated that) he just wanted his wife and daughter to have a nice Christmas."
The Trucker's Inn fired Banks on Friday after learning he had admitted to the theft, a supervisor at the truck stop said.
MAN WITH GUN ROBS HECHT'S AT THE MALL
An armed man stole an undisclosed amount of cash Saturday from the Hecht's store at The Mall in Columbia.
A clerk in charge of the store's Trim-a-Tree department told police he was closing his cash register about 10 p.m. when he was approached by a man wearing a dark jacket and red baseball cap. The man pulled a handgun, then ordered the clerk to hand over a bag containing an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
The robber then fled into the mall's main thoroughfare and left through the mall's north doors.
The robber was described as a black male between 25 and 30 years old, about 6 feet tall with a scruffy beard, police said.
WOMAN, 19, KILLED IN CRASH ON U.S. 1
A 19-year-old Hanover woman died of internal injuries Friday after her car crashed into a utility pole on U.S. 1 near Kit Kat Road, county police said.
Tarsha Renae Hebron, of the 1700 block Greens Lane, died shortly after arrival at Howard County General Hospital. Police say Hebron's car went out of control at 3:40 p.m. when she swerved to avoid vehicles that had slowed down to make a left-hand turn, police said.
Hebron's car, which was northbound on U.S. 1, left the road and struck a utility pole just north of Kit Kat Road, just west of the Howard-Anne Arundel county border, police said.
Police say the accident remains under investigation.
MAN HITS POLICE CAR,IS CHARGED WITH DUI
A Columbia man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Sunday after his car crashed into the back of a county police cruiser, causing a chain-reaction accident that damaged two other cars, police said.
Ronald Campbell, 25, of the 7200 block Edenbrook Drive, also was charged with failure to reduce speed. He was treated for minor injuries at Howard County General Hospital and released.
The police officer, Karen Davis, also suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from Howard County General. The drivers of the other two cars were not injured, police said.
Police say the accident occurred at 9:30 p.m. in the southbound lane of U.S. 29 at Owen Brown Road when Campbell's car struck Davis' cruiser while she was waiting to make a left-hand turn at a stop light. The cruiser then was forced into the back of another car at the light, which in turn struck the rear of another car, police said.
POLICE SEEK ATTACKER OF SISTERS, 13 AND 14
County police are asking the public for help in locating a man who attacked two sisters Nov. 15 as they walked along a footbridge over U.S. 29 near The Mall in Columbia.
The victims, ages 13 and 14, were walking on the footbridge about 3:45 p.m. when an unidentified man stopped and said hello, then proceeded to grab one of them and indecently touch her. Both girls ran from the area and were not injured.
Police described the assailant as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s, about 6 feet tall and 175 pounds, with a medium build.
The man has brown hair and wore a waist-length jacket, jeans and tennis shoes, police said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call county police 313-2266.
POLICE SAY WOMAN MADE UP RAPE STORY
County police say they have determined that a rape reported Nov. 12, when a 19-year-old woman claimed to have been attacked at Guilford Elementary School, was a falsified report, a police spokesman said.
"The incident did not occur," said police Sgt. Gary L. Gardner. "We want people in that neighborhood to know that a sexual attack did not happen there."
Police say the victim admitted that she had falsified her claim of being attacked while playing basketball on school grounds. In the original report, she said she had been grabbed from behind and raped on the athletic court.
Police say no charges have been filed and the investigation is continuing.