A man posing as a balloon deliverer held up an Ellicott City woman in her home Thursday afternoon, but was arrested after being followed by a motorist who had heard a description over a police radio, police said.
The woman was not injured, police said.
James Wesley Henson, 36, whose last known address was the 1600 block of Vincent Court, Baltimore, was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, a handgun violation, theft and assault, police said. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bond at the county Detention Center, a correctional officer said.
Police said the robbery began shortly after noon, when a ma delivered balloons to the home of a 41-year-old woman in the 9700 block of Hillsmere Road, police said.
Once inside the house, he brandished a handgun and bound the woman's hands with duct tape, police said. He then searched her home and stole cash and jewelry before fleeing in a silver Honda, police said.
The woman was able to free her hands almost immediately after the gunman left and called police.
During their investigation, police broadcast a description of the silver Honda over the police radio, police said. A motorist who was listening to the radio spotted the Honda on Frederick Road near the county library and followed it, police said.
While pursuing the Honda, the citizen reported his observations to police using his car telephone, police said.
The citizen told police the car had pulled into the parking lot of St. John's Episcopal Church and the driver walked behind the church, police said. The responding officer was able to locate the suspect and take him into custody.
A loaded revolver, believed to be the robber's, was found in the rear of the church Friday, police said. The woman's belongings were recovered in a cosmetic bag in her bedroom, where the robber apparently left them, police said.
The Honda was reported stolen in Baltimore County, police said.