ELKRIDGE — An Ellicott City gas station was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash Saturday when a man threatened to blow up the business with a bomb, county police said.
The man walked up to the St. John's Amoco cashier's window at 11:15 p.m. and placed what appeared to be an explosive device in the change window, police said.
The device appeared to have dynamite inside, and the clerk handedover a sum of money, police said. The man then ran across the streetto a parked car and drove north on St. John's Lane.
Police and fire officials arrived at the station, in the 9100 block of U.S. 40, and inspected the device, which turned out to be two red flares taped together with wires and a battery.
Police describe the man's car asa 1970s model white Ford.
5TH PERSON CHARGED IN MARCH BANK FRAUD
The FBI has arrested a fifth person in connection with a forged documents scheme that bilked an Ellicott City bank out of $120,000 in March, federal authorities said.
Bonita Renee Freeman, 44, of the 2600block of Royal Oak Avenue in Baltimore, surrendered to federal officials yesterday and was charged with bank fraud, said Jim Dearborn, anFBI spokesman.
Freeman and four others are suspected of stealing $120,000 from the Commercial and Farmers Bank of Ellicott City, wherethe money was illegally withdrawn in early March, Dearborn said.
At each visit, people posed as bank customers and supplied personal account information and identification before withdrawing money from savings accounts. Payment was requested in the form of a treasurer's bank check, Dearborn said.
FBI investigators later learned the identification was forged. Investigators are unsure how the phony IDs andthe personal account information were obtained.
Several checks between $30,000 and $35,000 were issued from two personal accounts, Dearborn said. The checks were later cashed.
Shortly after the money was withdrawn, two bank customers noticed discrepancies in their bankstatements and notified the bank. Suspects were identified through bank records and through videotapes from the bank's surveillance cameras, authorities said.
Also arrested since March 3 were Baltimore residents Wallace Jerome Moore, 64, of the 1900 block of West Fayette Street; Karen Barnes, 30, of the 1800 block of Hollins Street; and Barbara Brown, 40, and Ernest Edward Simpson, 50, both of the 900 blockof Brooks Lane.
All were charged with federal bank fraud, a crimepunishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The suspects have been released on their own recognizance.
A compilation of some of the crimes reported to Howard County police:
7000 block of Ducketts Lane: Aug. 5, a 1989 Kawasaki motorcycle was reported stolen at 5:30 a.m. from a residential area.
DATELINE: Ellicott City
9300 block of U.S. 40: Aug. 5, someone threw a rock through the window of a business sometime before 7 a.m. and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.
4700 block of Dorsey Hall Drive: Aug. 1, someone attempted to steal a 1981 Datsun 280Z from a shopping center parking lot sometime before 1 a.m.
900 block of Gold Dust Court: Aug. 5, a 1991 Jeep Cherokee was reported stolen at 5:30 a.m. from a residential area.
9200 block of Traders Crossing: Aug. 5, a cable television box was reported stolen at 6 p.m. from a home entered through an unlocked front door.