Boy wields shotgun to help man steal van Police find vehicle, detain five people

August 09, 1993|By Adam Sachs and William F. Zorzi Jr. | Adam Sachs and William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writers

A boy described as 8 or 9 years old stood watch with a shotgun at a General Motors Corp. van storage lot early yesterday, as an older partner bound a security guard with rope and stole a new van, Baltimore police said.

Another security guard reported seeing the boy 15 minutes earlier, before being beaten and stabbed nearby.

Hours later, an off-duty city sheriff's deputy stopped a van with a license number matching that of the stolen van about 6:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of Elbert St. in Southwest Baltimore, police said.

The deputy, who apparently had seen the license number of the van on television, made the stop and called city police for assistance.

Police said a man, a woman and three juveniles were in the van and were taken into custody, but it was unclear last night whether the juvenile suspect was among those in the van.

The man driving the van was charged by Southwestern District officers last night with driving a vehicle with a stolen tag, but police would not to identify him.

Police said they had not determined whether the man driving the van had been involved in the theft. The investigation was continuing last night.

Bill Fisher, a guard for Security Patrol Services, told the police that he was approached in his booth in the lot at 5101 Holabird Ave. about 3:45 a.m. by a man with a shotgun, said police Sgt. Lester Geesey of the Southeastern District.

According to police, the gunman demanded that Mr. Fisher leave his booth, which was inside the lot's fenced perimeter. The man gave the boy the shotgun to keep watch over Mr. Fisher, then tied the guard's hands with rope and put him in a van.

Mr. Fisher told police he saw the pair leave the lot in a 1994 Chevrolet or GMC van with a blue roof, gray body and dark-blue panels.

About 15 minutes earlier, security guard Roger Pierson was struck in the face with a pipe and stabbed three times in the back while patrolling the lot, police said.

Mr. Pierson was listed in stable condition last night at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center.

He told police he had seen a boy -- no taller than 4 feet 4 inches, and weighing 65 to 70 pounds -- standing in the lot and told him to leave. The man, described by Mr. Pierson as in his late 20s and about 5 feet 6 inches and 150 pounds, approached him and struck him with a pipe.

Mr. Pierson said he lost consciousness during a struggle and awoke bloodied at 5:30 a.m. inside a van, with his hands tied behind him, police said.

"This is a strange thing we have here," said Sergeant Geesey. "This is an industrial area. We don't have a lot of problems. Occasionally we have calls for kids cutting through the lot.

"I'm sure the initial guard thought it was just another kid on the lot to chase away. He got whacked in the face. It wasn't business as usual."

A scanner radio valued at $425 also was reported stolen from the security booth.

Mr. Fisher was able to untie himself and called police, and then searched for Mr. Pierson.

The guards were patrolling a lot used to store vans before they are transported for sale.

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