Sadiyq Abdullah Muhammed, a 19-year-old Northeast Baltimore man, was charged in Towson last night with taking part in four Baltimore County shotgun robberies that were among approximately two dozen that have terrorized the metropolitan area in recent weeks.
He was being held on a $1.5 million bond, set in Baltimore County District Court.
He was brought to Baltimore County from Newport News, Va., where he had been jailed since Saturday afternoon, when Newport News police charged him with being a fugitive from justice.
He has also been charged in arrest warrants with eight of the robberies in Baltimore.
Mr. Muhammed was wearing a cherry red shirt, black pants and red suede shoes at his court appearance last night. He had agreed earlier in the day in Newport News General District Court to sign extradition papers.
Baltimore County police said they linked him to the March 7 robbery of the State Employees Credit Union at 8503 La Salle Road on the basis of photos taken by a security camera of five gun-toting men who made off with about $36,700.
Police said cameras captured a man jumping a counter at the credit union, where an employee was ordered at gunpoint to dump money from a vault into a plastic bag. Four men then escaped. A fifth suspect was arrested following a brief hostage standoff.
Mr. Muhammed, also known as Tony Maurice Bedford, of the 5400block of Bucknell Road in Baltimore, was charged last night with one count each of robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in committing a crime in connection with the credit union robbery.In that case, bond was set at $500,000.
Police said fingerprints linked Mr. Muhammed to the Feb. 21 robbery of the Food Place supermarket in the 8500 block of Liberty Road and the Feb. 28 robbery of the Pikesville Holiday Inn in the 1700 block of Reisterstown Road, where an assistant manager was shot and seriously wounded.
According to the police, fingerprints also linked Mr. Muhammed to a robbery attempt a half-hour earlier on Feb. 28 at the Imperial Pontiac-Nissan car dealership in the 1700 block of Woodlawn Drive.
He was charged with seven counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, eight counts of using a handgun in committing a crime and one count of assault with intent to murder in those three cases. Additional bond of $1 million was set.
In Newport News earlier yesterday, a sheriff's deputy had unlocked Mr. Muhammed's handcuffs just long enough for him to sign the extradition document. Newport News General District Judge Joan T. Beale then informed him that the Virginia case would be continued until April 10.
Appearing with the suspect was his Virginia court-appointed attorney, P. A. Yeapanis.
Mr. Muhammed was arrested Saturday by airport police at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. He was attempting to buy a one-way ticket to Philadelphia when a ticket agent requested a picture identification card and then spotted a large amount of money in Mr. Muhammed's briefcase, police said. The agent notified airport police, who held him for questioning.
"The fellow had no identification on him, and when we checked we found out he had several outstanding warrants on him," said Al Leach, chief of airport police. Mr. Muhammed listed no occupation on his arrest warrant.
Baltimore-area businesses have been following a policy of dumping cash receipts into drop safes, and police have been flooded with calls about suspicious people since the string of robberies began last October.In most of the holdups, at least one of the suspects carried a shotgun, which has led to the group -- or groups -- being dubbed the "shotgun bandits."
Dennis S. Hill, the Baltimore police spokesman, said Mr. Muhammed faced county, federal and city charges in that order.