Gun-toting robbers strike pizza parlor in Arbutus, get $600

March 18, 1991|By Michael Jamesand Roger Twigg

Pam Turner had been hearing in recent weeks that it was only a matter of time before the so-called "shotgun robbers" would pay her a visit.

Last night, she became a robbery victim.

"They came in real fast, and we were just standing there dumbfounded," said Miss Turner, 21, a manager at Ballestri's Pizza in the 900 block of Leeds Avenue in Arbutus.

"One of them popped me in the mouth with the butt of a rifle. Then he pushed me on the ground and put his gun up against the back of my head. I was shaking," she said.

Miss Turner and another employee, Corey David, 21, were ordered to stay on the floor while the two robbers cleaned out about $600 in cash.

The manager said that she only remembered hearing the words: "This is a stickup."

The holdup was the latest in a months-long series of armed robberies in the Baltimore area, some believed to be the work of a highly organized gang.

But police said that last night's robbery did not appear related to those crimes.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old suspect wanted for a holdup in the city Saturday at the International House of Pancakes in Govans -- engineered by a half-dozen gun-wielding assailants -- surrendered yesterday at the Northern District, Baltimore police said.

Shantee Arthur of the 5300 block of Perring Parkway was charged with 14 counts of armed robbery, aggravated assault, malicious destruction of property and a handgun offense.

Police said warrants were obtained after the suspect was identified by one of the victims in the robbery at 4:30 a.m. at the restaurant on York Road.

Police are still looking for five others who fired at least a dozen shots inside the restaurant, robbing the business, customers and employees.

At the Arbutus pizza shop, Miss Turner said many customers have been saying openly that it was "just a matter of time" before it was hit.

"I guess they were right," she said.

Mr. David said that he suspected the men had been using drugs and that they didn't seem to be "real organized about how they did the robbery."

"I don't think these guys were any part of a gang. They couldn't get much money here," he said.

"It seems like now, with all this talk about the shotgun robbers, everyone with a gun is out looking to play copycat."

"Whether they were part of a ring or not, they still probably do this all the time," Mr. David said.

"That doesn't make you feel too safe."

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