In a robbery reminiscent of a series of abductions earlier this year, an unlicensed cab driver was released unharmed early yesterday after he was forced into the trunk of his car by two men seeking a ride near Mondawmin Mall, Baltimore police said.
Calvin Vaughn, 40, of the 2700 block of W. North Ave., told police that he picked up the two men in the 2500 block of Reisterstown Road about 8:30 p.m. Saturday after they asked for a ride to Palmer Court, near Pimlico Race Track, police said.
While en route to Palmer Court, one of the men pulled a handgun on Mr. Vaughn and told him to stop the car. The men forced him in the trunk and then drove around for an undetermined amount of time, police said.
The men released Mr. Vaughn in the 700 block of E. 33rd St. and the men drove off with Mr. Vaughn's 1987 Buick and $85, police said.
He flagged down an officer and filed a report about 1 a.m., they said.
Police said the incident may have been a copycat of similar abductions that occurred in the city earlier this year.
Three men were abducted from parking garages in the city in a series of crimes between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 that included the killing of Vitalis Pilius, 37, of Catonsville. Another man who was abducted from a Johns Hopkins Hospital garage was later found in the trunk of his car at Mondawmin Mall.
Dontay Carter, 19, of Baltimore is suspected of masterminding the crimes and has been charged in the murder and other related crimes.
Carter was arrested after a third man he allegedly abducted from a downtown parking lot pried open the trunk and attracted attention.
On Feb. 16, a 33-year-old Baltimore woman was abducted from the Mondawmin Mall parking lot by two men, one armed with a handgun.
She was driven around for six hours before she was tied up and locked in the trunk of her car. She was later found by police.
Two days later, a 30-year-old Baltimore cab driver was robbed of about $200 by a passenger who forced him into the trunk of the cab.
The taxi was abandoned a short time later and police were called to the scene by a businessman who heard the victim's screams.