Three Baltimore men were arrested late Tuesday night and charged with robbing two Columbia women at gunpoint as they were entering their apartment buildings.
The suspects were caught minutes after a foiled robbery and less than a mile away from police headquarters by off-duty officers on their way to work.
Police set up surveillance at U.S. 40 and U.S. 29 in Ellicott City after information about an attempted robbery at the 5600 block of Columbia Road was broadcast over a scanner. Police said they stopped the suspects on a traffic violation and found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and a purse that had been reported stolen earlier, along with credit cards and cash.
Anthony A. Underwood Jr., 21, and Romonda Southall, 20, are being held on $100,000 bond at the county detention center. A third suspect, Sean C. Tisdale, 20, is being held on $50,000 bond. All three have been charged with robbery, assault and handgun violations.
Police said one man approached the first victim at an apartment complex at the 4900 block of Columbia Road, brandished a handgun and took her purse. The woman called police to report the incident.
Thirty minutes later, at a nearby apartment complex, two men grabbed another woman and demanded cash. The woman said she did not have any money and started to scream, scaring away her attackers.
Police said the woman ran to her fiance's apartment, where she saw a red car with its lights out leaving the parking lot.
PIZZA DELIVERYMAN ROBBED AT GUNPOINT
A masked man held up a Domino's pizza man Wednesday night as he was trying to deliver to a Columbia house, accordingto police.
The robber wore a red ski mask and flashed a black handgun at the pizza man at the 6900 block of Pasture Gate Drive. The robber said to the deliveryman, "Just give me the money. Don't play around," according to police.
Police said the deliveryman handed overan undisclosed amount of money to the robber, who fled on foot. Police describe the robber as a thin white male who wore blue jeans and ared pull-over jacket.
The deliveryman was not injured.
CARS STOLEN, DAMAGED AT FITNESS CLUB
Three cars were stolen and broken into at the parking lot of a Columbia sports and fitness club Tuesday night, according to police.
The ignition of a 1986 Mazda was broken and the lock of a 1988 Mazda was pried at the parking lot of the Columbia Athletic Center at 5435 Beaverkill Road.
A 1985 Toyota Camry that was stolen was found the next day on Columbia Road with its motor running and wipers on.
Here are other crimes reported to Howard County police:
9200 block of Silver Sod: Someone entered a garage April 17 and stole bicycles.
9200 block of Livery Lane: Someone tried to steal a 1984 Mitsubishi overnight Wednesday anddid steal a stereo and cash.
7100 block of Carved Stone: A red 1992 Jeep was reported stolen Wednesday.
5300 block of Eliots Oak Road: A 1987 Acura Legend was stolen between April 19 and 20.
7000 block of Winter Rose Path: Someone set a car on fire Thursday morning and wrote on the windshield, "Now you are dead. You are foolish." Police believe the incident may be part of a domestic dispute.
9500 block of Red Apple Lane: Someone pried open a rear door and stole a TV, VCR and a stereo between April 16 and 20.
8500 block of Hayshed Lane: Jewelry and cash were taken April 20 after someone took keys from a neighbor, who was holding them for the traveling owners.
9700block of Covered Wagon Drive: A 1992 red Ford Escort was stolen overnight Tuesday.
5600 block of Freshaire Lane: A man exposed himselfin front of a window early Monday morning.
8700 block of Old Columbia Road: Someone entered through an unlocked basement window Tuesday and stole jewelry, firearms and electronic equipment.
5000 blockof Ten Mills Road: Someone stole a wedding band, a diamond ring, TV and VCR Tuesday. There was no sign of forced entry.
6600 block of Hawkeye Run: Someone stole a CD player, VCR, radio and stereo Tuesday.
10300 block of Little Patuxent Parkway: A 1990 Toyota Corolla stolen two weeks ago from the parking lot of Oakland Mills High School was found Tuesday at Columbia Mall.
Old Montgomery Road and DobbinRoad: A 1989 Dodge Dynasty stolen from Baltimore City was found Tuesday.
11100 block of Willow Bottom Drive: The ignition of a 1992 Olds Delta was damaged Tuesday.
10600 block of High Beam Court: A white 1990 Mitsubishi Galant was stolen either Tuesday or Wednesday.
9200 block of U.S. 40: A maroon 1991 Pontiac Grand Am was stolen from the parking lot of K mart between April 18 and 20.
8800 block of Ridge Road: A two-door 1987 Pontiac Firebird was stolen between April 18 and Wednesday.
8800 block of U.S. 40: A gray1990 Oldsmobile was stolen Tuesday.
3800 block of Centennial Lane: Someone broke the window of the elementary school between April 18 and 21.
8400 block of Glen Mar Road: Someone entered through a rear door of the Glen Mar Methodist Church and defecated on the floor. Afire extinguisher was taken.
8400 block of Frederick Road: Someone smashed the window and damaged the steering column of a 1989 Chevy truck between April 17 and 20.
3300 block of N. Chatham Road: A woman told police she was struck from behind and knocked unconscious for 45 minutes early Thursday night. Jewelry was taken.
9100 block of Whiskey Bottom Road: Someone pried open a deadbolt lock and ransacked the offices of Southland Corp. Nothing was taken.