Baltimore Man Held In Pharmacy Holdups

Police, fire log

December 30, 1990

County police have charged a Baltimore man with two recent armed robberies of the Elkridge Pharmacy, where money and drugs were stolen by a man wearing a ski mask, a police spokesman said.

Robert Alan Hof, 37, of the unit block of Doray Court, has been charged with the Oct. 22 and Nov. 26 robberies at the pharmacy, in the 5800 block of Main Street. In both incidents, the drugs Dilaudid and Percodan were taken, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner.

Hof was arrested Dec. 18 by Baltimore County police after a high-speed chase on U.S. 40 following the robbery of the Household Finance bank in Catonsville. He was linked to the Howard County robberies when police recovered a ski mask and cash drawer from his car, Gardner said.

The cash drawer came from the Elkridge Pharmacy, where in both cases the gunman ordered the clerk to hand over money, police said. He then took the Percodan, a painkiller, and Dilaudid, a methadone substitute, from behind the counter.

Hof has also been charged in connection with five recent armed robberies that occurred in Baltimore County. He is being held on $750,000 bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center and $100,000 bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

FIRE FORCES MOTHER, CHILDREN FROM HOME

A mother and her two children were forced out of their Columbia town house Friday by a fire that caused an estimated $20,000 in damage, county firefighters said.

The fire began at 11:50 a.m. when a gas furnace apparently overheated in a home in the 5400 block of High Tide Court, said Battalion Chief Donald R.

Howell. The blaze quickly spread into the wall and made its way to the home's second floor, Howell said.

Laura Curtis, 30, owner of the residence, was home at the time and heard a smoke alarm go off. She was able to escape uninjured with both her children, Meghan, 3, and Michael, 1. The family is staying with friends while the home is repaired, Howell said.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, Howell said.

ROBBERY THWARTED BY BURGLAR ALARM

An office alarm thwarted a robbery Dec. 23 at the Steuart Petroleum Co., as two men attempted to open a safe after ordering an employee to lie on the floor, county police said.

Police say the employee was leaving the building, in the 7300 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge, shortly after 11 p.m. when two men approached him. One of the men carried a handgun, police said.

The men ordered the employee to unlock the front door, police said. Once inside, one of the men stood over the victim with the gun, while the other attempted to open the office safe and cash register, police said.

One of the men accidentally triggered the audible burglar alarm, causing both to run out the door. The employee was not injured, and the men fled empty-handed, police said.

* A compilation of some of the crimes reported to state police and Howard County police: Columbia 5500 block Vantage Point Road: Dec. 21, a 1988 Acura Legend was reported stolen at 8 a.m. from a residential parking lot.

5200 block Brook Way: Dec. 21, a 1988 Plymouth Colt was reported stolen at 7 a.m. from an apartment complex parking lot.

8900 block Tamar Drive: Dec. 21, a 1990 Honda Accord was reported stolen at 6 a.m. from a residential area.

10200 block Wesleigh Drive: Dec. 20, several tools were stolen sometime before 8 a.m. from a storage shed on a residential property.

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