Baltimore police say they are making progress arresting suspects in the string of armed robberies that have plagued the Baltimore area since the fall.
In the past month, 13 people have been arrested in the 73 robberies of banks, supermarkets and other businesses in the city and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.
"This is a progress report," Baltimore police spokesman Dennis Hill said yesterday. "I think people need to know . . . we are making progress on the arrests of the holdup men.
"We're not slacking off," Hill said, but "we're not claiming a great success."
Mayor Kurt Schmoke and Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden were to meet today at the Pikesville Holiday Inn, where an employee was wounded during an armed holdup Feb. 28, to update the public on the crime wave.
During the meeting, Metro Crime Stoppers is to announce rewards for information leading to the robbers' arrests, Schmoke's press secretary said.
Since Halloween, a group of armed men, carrying shotguns and semiautomatic handguns, have committed 45 robberies in the city, 23 in Baltimore County and five in Anne Arundel County.
The use of semiautomatic weapons and shotguns seems to link the holdups, Hill said.
Hill said the chance that some of the robberies were done by copycat groups is high because some of those in custody do not know each other.
He also said that police are not sure if there is a single person masterminding the robberies.
Of the suspects arrested, three were arrested by Baltimore County police and 10 by city police.
Tony M. Bedford, 19, of the 5400 block of Bucknell Road, a suspect in the March 7 robbery of a Towson credit union, is being held in Baltimore County on a $1.5 million bond. He uses the alias Sadiyq Abdullah Muhammed.
Eric Wheeler, 29, of the 1100 block of N. Mount St., is being held on $150,000 bail in Baltimore County for his alleged participation in the credit union robbery in which he took some hostages before he surrendered to police.
Four accomplices fled the credit union with more than $36,000.
Hill said Muhammed and Wheeler appear to be connected.
The other suspects are: Thomas Issac Smith, 25, of the 2600 block of Ridgely St.; Richard Burrell Harris, 35, of the 2600 block of Maisel St.; Kevin D. Jones, 34, of the 100 block of N. Stockton St.; Robert E. McLean, 23, of the 800 block of Barre St.; Phillip M. Williams, 22, of the 2500 block of Fairmount Ave.; Antonio Brewer, 21, of the 200 block of Stonecroft Road; William R. Bullock, 35, of the 3900 block of Woodbridge Road; Kevin Lennard, 32, of the 100 block of Willard St.; Rodney Wagner, 22, of the 100 block of N. Poppleton St.; Ricky Jackson, 28, of the 2500 block of Lombard St.; and Trevor G. Brooks, 33, of the 4800 block of Homer Ave.
All the suspects have city addresses.
Police said Bedford has been charged with 12 robberies in the city -- two robberies of a Hardee's outlet, in the 6600 block of TC Belair Road, Feb. 9 and 23; the Plaza Mini Mart, on Sinclair Lane, March 2; Shoe City, in the 5600 block of the Alameda, March 1; the Pizza King, in the 5900 block of Radecke Ave., Feb. 23; Valu Food, in the 4200 block of Frankford Ave., March 25; Erol's Video store, in the 1600 block of W. North Ave., Jan. 12; a 7-Eleven, in the 100 block of E. 25th St., Feb. 11; a McDonald's outlet, in the 700 block of Washington Blvd., Jan. 11; United Iron and Metal Co., in the 2500 block of Wilkens Ave., Jan. 17; Goldberg's, in the 3100 block of W. North Ave., Dec. 22; and a McDonald's outlet, in the 2800 block of Greenmount Ave., Feb. 18.
Wheeler has been charged in the following robberies: Feb. 23, at the Hardee's outlet in the 6600 block of Belair Road; Jan. 18, at a McDonald's outlet in the 2800 block of Greenmount Ave.; Feb. 25, at a Giant Food store in the 5900 block of Reisterstown Road.
Of the others accused:
* Smith has been charged in the Feb. 15 robbery of the Super Pride supermarket in the 7000 block of Liberty Road in Baltimore County.
* Harris has been charged with robbing a McDonald's outlet, in the 700 block of Washington Blvd., Jan. 27, and a McDonald's outlet, at 11 W. North Ave., Feb. 3 and a McDonald's, in the 3200 block of Frederick Ave., Feb. 8.
* Jones also is charged with the Feb. 8 robbery of the McDonald's outlet on Frederick Avenue and a Feb. 6 holdup of a Super Fresh store in the 2700 block of Foster Ave.
* McClean has been charged in connection with the Super Fresh holdup.
* Williams was arrested Feb. 21 as he left the Hardee's outlet that had just been held up in the 1700 block of Washington Blvd. He also is charged in robbing a White Tower restaurant, in the 1800 block of Washington Blvd., Jan. 16; a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, in the 3800 block of Wilkens Ave., Jan. 17; Sea Pride, in the 1800 block of W. Pratt St., Jan. 17; and the Hardee's outlet, in the 2000 block of Patapsco Ave., Feb. 18.