Weekend to remember but not fondly: 72 hours, 16 robberies

January 24, 1995|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

Bandits struck 16 times in 72 hours over the weekend in the county, holding up two banks, seven individuals and seven businesses in what veteran robbery detectives say could be a record in that space of time.

"Some of the investigators who've been here a while said they don't remember" that many robberies in one weekend, said Sgt. Earl Fowlkes, commander of the robbery unit of the criminal investigation division.

In most cases, the robbers worked alone, but in one incident four men jumped a 51-year-old Glen Burnie man and stole his bicycle. Some flashed handguns, others used threatening notes or implied they had guns, and one man waved a butcher knife at a gas station teller.

Robbers also struck convenience stores, restaurants and a beauty salon at Marley Station. In Annapolis, two pizza deliverymen were robbed in separate incidents as they made deliveries, city police said.

The first of the robberies came shortly after noon Friday, when a man walked into the Provident Bank branch in the 5700 block of Ritchie Highway, handed a teller a threatening note and made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

The last came just before 11 a.m. yesterday when a man walked up to a teller in the Signet Bank branch in the 4300 block of Mountain Road in Pasadena, told her he had a gun and ordered her to put all of the money into a shaving kit. After she complied, he ran outside, across the Lake Shore Plaza parking lot and got into an older, gold-colored, two-door car that was driven by an accomplice.

There also were two attempted robberies over the weekend. Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday, a man walked into the Sudsville Laundry in the 6600 block of Ritchie Highway, pulled a gun on the clerk and threatened to shoot her. The two struggled until the clerk bit the man on the hand just as a customer entered the laundry. The clerk screamed for help, and the man ran from the store. He drove off in a gold-colored car without getting any money, police said.

Roida E. Rogalski, 76, of Brooklyn Park was walking on Third Street near Edison Street about 10 a.m. Saturday when a man grabbed her purse from behind. The man knocked her to the ground but ran when Ms. Rogalski started screaming.

Robberies have been increasing over the past year, county police said. In the first nine months of 1994, there were 14.1 percent more than in the comparable period in 1993. Statistics for all of 1994 were unavailable.

Lt. Harry Collier, who commands the crimes against persons section of the criminal investigation division, said detectives in the robbery unit often have to be pulled from one investigation to begin a new one. Arrests in some of the weekend robberies are expected soon, he said.

"We're doing everything possible to address robberies, both proactively and reactively," Lieutenant Collier said. "We have a pretty high success rate in clearing robberies, and hopefully we'll be able to clear some of these."

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