MAN ROBBED OF $250 ON CHRISTMAS EVE
A Columbia man was robbed of $250 Christmas Eve by two men who forced him at gunpoint to drive them to Baltimore, county police said.
The 26-year-old victim reported that he left his home shortly before 7:15 p.m. and went to a parking lot in the 10500 block of Faulkner Ridge Circle to meet a friend. When he arrived, an unidentified man with a gun approached the car, police said.
After the gunman and another man got in the car, the victim was ordered to drive to the North Avenue area of the city, police said. The men then took the victim's money and fled on foot.
Police said the victim was not injured.
ARSON SUSPECTED IN TRASH-BIN FIRES
An arsonist set fire to three trash bins and a truck early Christmas morning in Columbia, county firefighters suspect.
No one was injured in any of the blazes, which appear to have been set by someone using flammable material, said Donald R. Howell, a county Fire Department spokesman.
The first trash-bin fire was reported at 2:30 a.m. at Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road, and another was set around 3 a.m. at Owen Brown Middle School, 6700 Cradle Rock Way, Howell said.
About a half-hour later, another trash bin was found burning at the Cradle Rock Mobil gas station a short distance away. At 4:15 a.m., a truck on Overheart Lane was found damaged by a fire.
Ineach of the trash bin fires, the blaze was confined to the Dumpster.No estimate was available on the damage to the truck.
GAS STATION ROBBERS SAY THEY HAVE BOMB
Two men who claimed they were armed with a bomb robbed an undisclosed amount of cash Sunday from a Columbia gas station, county police said.
The men approached the attendant's booth of the Long Reach Exxon station, in the 6000 block of Foreland Garth, at 1 a.m. and showed an employee a radio-like device that theysaid contained an explosive, police said.
One of the men told theemployee to open the door to the booth or he would detonate the bomb. After entering the booth, one of the men pulled out a gun and told the attendant to turn over all the money.
The two men then ran offwith the money and the alleged bomb device, police said. It is unknown whether the instrument was real or a fake, police said.
OFFICER, DRIVER COLLIDE IN MANEUVER
A county police officer and the driver of the stolen car he was trying to pull over both were injured Tuesdaymorning in a collision that sent the officer's car rolling off the road, police said.
Officer Robert Castor, 31, a five-year veteran of the department, and two other patrol officers were attempting to box in a reported stolen car by surrounding the vehicle with their cruisers when the accident occurred, police said.
The incident began about 4 a.m., when a police officer responded to a burglar alarm at a Laurel apartment complex and spotted a car leaving the area. When theofficer ran a vehicle check, it revealed the car had been stolen recently from Howard County, police said.
Before turning on his emergency lights, the officer followed the car onto the north lane of Interstate 95 and radioed for backup. Two other cruisers arrived, at which point the cruisers all turned on their flashing lights in an attempt to pull the car over.
The driver of the car continued 300 feet before he swerved into Castor's cruiser, police said. Both the cruiserand the car veered to the right shoulder, jumped a guard rail, and nearly crashed into a bridge support column.
Officer Castor was treated and released at St. Agnes Hospital. The driver of the car, a 17-year-old Virginia boy, was released from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
The juvenile and two passengers in the car, Joseph Z. Cachero II, 19, of the 5700 block of Pope Street in Baltimore,and Christopher Todd Tinsley, 18, of the 100 block of Warwickshire Lane in Glen Burnie, were charged with auto theft.
AFTER-CHRISTMAS THIEF TAKES WOMAN'S PURSE
A 34-year-old Columbia woman reported Thursday that a man in a parking lot grabbed her purse, which contained $10, and ran off, county police said.
The woman said she was puttingher child in the back seat of her car in the 5200 block of Cedar Lane when a stranger began yanking the purse off her shoulder, police said. The woman tried to pull the purse back but the strap broke.
Police said the man then got into a gold Cadillac with another man and drove off on Cedar Lane toward Route 108. The incident occurred shortly before 5:25 p.m., police said.
DWI ROADBLOCK NETS 13 ON ROUTE 175
Thirteen people were arrested in a Dec. 21 drunken-driving roadblock on Route 175 in Columbia, a county police spokesman said.
The roadblock was set up near the intersection of Snowden River Parkway. About 1,000 vehicles went through the checkpoint, which was manned by police officers and members of the Howard County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said Officer Michael Sherman.
County police have arrested more than 225 people on drunken-driving charges since they began using the roadblocks in 1988.
PROTESTERS ARRESTED AT DOCKTOR PET