Taxi driver robbed, locked in cab's trunk Cabbie is second person abducted in two days.

February 18, 1992|By Frank D. Roylance and Michael James | Frank D. Roylance and Michael James,Staff Writer

A 30-year-old Diamond cab driver was found locked in the trunk of his taxi today in the second such robbery-abduction in northwest Baltimore in two days.

Police Agent Arlene Jenkins said cabbie David Lee Clack, 30, of the 1100 block of Woodyear St., was found unharmed at 11 a.m. in the 5500 block of Falls Road, just above Northern Parkway, where a merchant heard him banging on the inside of his trunk and yelling to be let out.

Mr. Clack told police he picked up a passenger at 2 a.m. in the 3700 block of Park Heights Ave. Somewhere on Druid Lake Park Drive, police said, the passenger produced a chrome-plated handgun, robbed Mr. Clack of several hundred dollars, then forced him into the trunk of the cab.

Police said the robber then apparently drove the cab and abandoned it in the 5500 block of Falls Road, where Mr. Clack was found nine hours later.

Mr. Clack described his abductor as a black male, with light skin, a mustache and wearing a multicolored "8-ball" jacket.

The 3700 block of Park Heights Ave., where Mr. Clack picked up his passenger, is six blocks from the 3100 block of Towanda Ave., where Deborah Tanya Smith, 33, was found yesterday morning locked in the truck of her 1989 Nissan Sentra after being abducted at the nearby Mondawmin Mall and robbed of $400.

One of her two assailants also carried a silver-colored handgun, police said. But investigators would not say whether they believed the two crimes are linked.

Police did say they believe Ms. Smith's abduction may be a "copycat" case, similar to three abductions last week that left one man dead, and another injured. Police believe they arrested all the suspects in those abductions last week.

Ms. Smith, of the 1600 block of Burnwood Road, was in satisfactory condition today at Liberty Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said.

Ms. Smith told police she arrived at the Mondawmin Mall parking lot shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday and was accosted by two strangers, one of whom carried a silver-colored handgun, said Sgt. Thomas Bannon of the Northwestern District.

The men forced her back into her car, took the keys from her and demanded her money.

When she refused, the men forcibly took the cash from her pants and jacket and one of the strangers then punched her in the mouth, police said.

Ms. Smith said the two men drove her around the Fulton Avenue and Monroe Street areas for several hours before returning to the mall parking lot, where they tied her up and put her in the trunk, Sergeant Bannon said.

They drove the car to the 3100 block of Towanda Avenue, abandoned it and left Ms. Smith -- in the trunk of the car -- on the street.

About two hours later, at 5 a.m., police received a call on the 911 line from a man who said a woman was locked in a trunk on Towanda Avenue.

After a police officer found Ms. Smith kicking and screaming in the trunk and transported her to Liberty Medical Center, police traced the phone call to a booth on Reisterstown Road, Sergeant Bannon said.

Police sealed the phone booth and attempted to obtain fingerprints, but so far no suspects have been identified, he said.

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