County police have arrested two men they say could be responsible for the series of armed robberies in which restaurant employees were forced into walk-in freezers.
Clifton Degraffinried, 36, of the 3700block Overview Road in Baltimore, and Dartanya Ivan Cleatus Hines, 31, of the first block Albess Court in Randallstown, were charged withconspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
The pair was caught behind a Linthicum restaurant early yesterdaymorning after investigators began staking out fast-food restaurants in North County last week, said Sgt. George Johnson, head of the robbery squad.
"We sat down and put our heads together and targeted some places we thought they would hit," he said. "The Nursery Road areaseemed likely."
Undercover officers saw a man acting "suspiciously" behind the Wendy's restaurant in the 400 block of Nursery Road, police said.
They stopped the man and questioned him, and he agreed to let the officers search his car.
The officers found a sawed-offshotgun -- the same type used in the robberies that have plagued Anne Arundel and nearby counties since June -- in the rear hatchback of the car.
Police arrested Hines for possession of the gun. As officers questioned him, they were told that a second suspect was probablyin the area. A short time later, officers saw another man running behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Nursery Road. He was wearing socks on his hands, pulling them off as he ran, police said.
After using a state police helicopter and police dogs, officers caught the man, who was later identified as Degraffinried. He was wearinga nylon stocking on his head.
Later, a second shotgun was found behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, investigators said.
Witnesses at theBob's Big Boy in Glen Burnie that was robbed last week said the gunmen had worn men's socks on their hands and nylon stockings on their heads.
Although the pair has not been charged with robbery, police are trying to link them to the 13 holdups since June in Baltimore andHoward counties.
The robbery at Bob's Big Boy restaurant in the 7000 block of Ritchie Highway last Friday was the fourth Anne Arundel restaurant to be hit since last month.
Like the other holdups, twogunmen forced their way into the restaurant after it was closed and as an employee was coming back inside the building through the front door. The gunmen ordered the employees into the freezer, but the manager said the door would not lock. Instead, the robbers put the employees into a storage room.