Restaurant worker kidnapped, forced to drive to Delaware

August 05, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

The FBI and city police are searching for two men who kidnapped an employee of the Burger King restaurant in Westminster early Tuesday.

Michael Lee Owens, 20, of Westminster was kidnapped at gunpoint as he stepped outside to check the doors of the restaurant in the Crossroads Square Shopping Center between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., he told police.

He said he was forced to drive to the Wilmington, Del., area, where his car ran out of gas. Mr. Owens told investigators that his abductors walked away and did not injure him.

The restaurant worker told police that one of the abductors sat in the front seat with him and pointed a semiautomatic handgun at him during the 100-mile journey.

When Mr. Owens had to stop twice to pay tolls, he was ordered to "act calm and be quiet," he told investigators.

Mr. Owens was found sitting in the vehicle alongside U.S. 40 by a Delaware state trooper and was tak ,l Sketch of suspect en to the Wilmington barracks. Westminster police got a call from Delaware state police about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and talked with the victim by telephone while he was in Delaware.

Lt. Dean Brewer, chief of the city police criminal investigation division, said Mr. Owens' parents drove to Wilmington to bring their son and his car back to Westminster.

Police were able to interview him suspect Tuesday evening and Wednesday, and a Howard County police artist drew sketches of the suspects Wednesday based on Mr. Owens' descriptions.

Investigators said they are puzzled over the motive for the kidnapping. They said the victim had only a few dollars on him, just enough to pay the tolls.

Police described the suspects as black men in their early 20s.

The gunman was about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed about 195 pounds and was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

The second suspect, who rode in the back of the victim's car, was described as about 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds.

He was wearing a white, hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (410) 848-4646 or the Frederick FBI office at (301) 663-3469.

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