Howard County police are searching for two men who stole a Jeep Cherokee at gunpoint from two couples at a cinema near The Mall in Columbia Saturday.
No one was injured in the car-jacking, which is the second in less than a week in Howard County, police said.
Last Tuesday, Pamela Basu was dragged to her death in a car-jacking. Dr. Basu was entangled in a seat belt as two men commandeered her BMW near her Savage home. Two Washington men are being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and auto theft.
The latest car-jacking occurred about 10 p.m. Saturday as four people talked near the Jeep Cherokee in a parking lot on Wincopin Circle across from The Mall in Columbia. Two men approached the group, and one displayed a handgun and demanded keys to the jeep, said Detective Michael Sherman.
"The victims did [hand over the keys] and they [the suspects] fled in the Jeep Cherokee," Detective Sherman said. One couple was from Reston, Va. and the other from Harford County.
A short time later, an officer spotted the stolen jeep about three miles away on U.S. 29 near Owen Brown Road, Detective Sherman said. But the suspects pulled over on U.S. 29 near South Entrance Road and fled on foot, police said.
"We searched the area with canines and state police helicopter, and were unable to locate the suspects," Detective Sherman said.
One suspect is described as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s, Detective Sherman said. He was wearing jeans and a dark jacket with red trim.
The second suspect is described as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s, Detective Sherman said. He was wearing jeans and a dark jacket, police said.
The car-jacking is among a half dozen reported this year in Howard County, police said.
Police plan to increase patrol of parking lots and other crime-prone areas "with what resources we have available," Detective Sherman said.