Attention, Kmart shoppers: "Come out with your hands up."
That was the message last night for two youthful thieves whose after-hours plan to steal a cartload of shotguns and rifles from an East Baltimore Kmart fizzled when they were discovered by a janitor.
The two 15-year-olds, residents of the Hollander Ridge apartments, hid inside the Kmart store in the Parkside Shopping Center in the 5100 block of Sinclair Lane when it closed at 8 p.m., according to city police spokesman Sam Ringgold, who gave this account:
Dressed in dark clothes, the two left a storeroom and loaded rifles, shotguns and ammunition from the sporting goods department into a shopping cart. The plot fell apart when the intruders were discovered by a janitor cleaning up at 9:15.
The janitor, whose name police declined to release, told the kids they should leave immediately or they would be in a lot of trouble. He then went into the store's cafeteria and called the police.
The janitor stayed on the phone with police as officers surrounded the store. Police used a bullhorn to communicate with the two thieves during the standoff.
Finally, about 11:30 p.m., the two walked to the front door with their hands raised and gave up. No shots were fired; there were no injuries.
The two faced breaking and entering charges and were expected to be sent to the Charles Hickey School pending action by juvenile authorities, police said.