High's robbery suspect charged after high-speed car chase

May 10, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A 23-year-old Baltimore man is being held on $500,000 bail, charged with robbing an Ellicott City convenience store Saturday morning, then leading authorities on a car chase into Baltimore County at speeds of up to 120 mph, Howard County police said.

At 7 a.m. Saturday, police said, a man entered the High's store in the 10100 block of U.S. 40 and ap- roached a clerk, who was alone in the store. She told police the suspect purchased a piece of candy, then bought another piece of candy before drawing a handgun from his waistband.

The man demanded cash, taking $119.85 and grabbing seven packs of cigarettes from a display as he fled, police said.

The clerk saw the man get into a Toyota Celica and was able to take down the car's tag number before calling 911, police said.

Howard Officer Donald Becraft and Cpl. Dale Housman spotted the car heading east on Route 40 near Chatham Road and followed in their patrol cars as the man drove on Route 29 north to I-70.

The officers tried to force the suspect to pull over but he drove on at high speeds into Baltimore County before stopping the car on a ramp leading to Security Boulevard, and jumped from the vehicle. Officer Becraft drew his gun, ordered the suspect to stop and made the arrest.

The High's clerk was taken to the scene, where she identified the suspect, police said.

No one was injured during the incident, police said.

A Raven Model MP .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun recovered by the officers was reported stolen in 1984, police said.

The black 1992 Toyota Celica was reported stolen in Baltimore on April 13 during an armed carjacking, police said.

Reginald Bernard Bennett, of the 4100 block of Glen Hunt Road, was charged with armed robbery, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and traffic violations. He is being held at the Howard County Detention Center.

Howard District Court Judge James N. Vaughn refused to lower Mr. Bennett's bail during a hearing in Ellicott City yesterday, despite a plea by a woman who said she was Mr. Vaughn's mother that he be freed to seek treatment for heroin addiction.

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