Two armed robberies reported police say it could be same man in both cases

November 30, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

Howard County Police are investigating two armed robberies this week in which someone wearing a dark mask stole women's purses in parking lots in Ellicott City and Columbia.

The robberies occurred within a day of each other, and police are investigating the possibility the same thief was involved. No one was injured in either incident.

In the latest robbery, a masked gunman robbed a 51-year-old Ellicott City woman of her purse at 1:25 p.m. yesterday in the parking lot of Howard County Library's Ellicott City branch in the 9400 block of Frederick Road.

The victim was entering her vehicle when a man in a dark stocking cap approached and demanded her money. The man then pulled out a small, dark handgun, grabbed the woman's purse and fled north across Frederick Road.

The victim described the robber as a black male in his early 20s, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and wearing a heavy dark coat and dark pants with white tennis shoes.

A man involved in the same type of crime Monday night had a similar description, police said.

About 10:30 p.m. Monday, a woman loading groceries into her vehicle at the Long Reach Shopping Center in Columbia was approached by a man in a black ski mask with a small dark handgun. He demanded her purse, took it and fled.

That suspect was described as a 5-foot-9 inch black male weighing 185 pounds and wearing a navy blue jacket, blue jeans and a dark plaid shirt, police said.

While investigators said that it's not unusual to have a few street robberies each week in the county, the similarities in the two cases raise suspicions they are related.

"It's very difficult to say," said police Sgt. Pete D'Antuono, head of the department's Crimes Against Persons unit.

"You're talking about very general descriptions."

Meanwhile, police are investigating two other street robberies in Ellicott City and Columbia within the past week.

On Nov. 23 a man snatched a woman's purse in the parking lot of a Columbia apartment community, dragging her briefly until she let go and he was able to flee, police said.

On Friday night, a man approached an elderly couple from behind in the 8200 block of Main St. in Ellicott City and robbed them of cash before running away, police said.

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