City police rounded up the remaining members of a violent gang tied to a spree involving a slaying, kidnappings and armed robberies after a high-speed chase along Northern Parkway yesterday morning.
Andre Edwin Allen, 34, who had been sought by local and federal authorities since Tuesday, was arrested at gunpoint along with another suspect when they ran from their car after it crashed head-on into a van while police were pursuing it.
Mr. Allen, who lives in the 3400 block of Wabash Ave., is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Pearl Elizabeth Moffett, 72, who was shot during a robbery in the parking lot of a Waverly bank on June 9.
The slaying was one of 14 crimes investigators have attributed to the gang, which they say Mr. Allen headed. There was an armed robbery in February, one in March and another in April, but the other 11 crimes were committed this month, including the abduction of a North Baltimore family.
"This is more than just a murder," said Detective Darryl Massey, the lead homicide investigator working the case. "It's a magnitude of numerous felony acts where a lot of people have dealt with a lot of emotional trauma, from being violated, kidnapped at gunpoint and threatened."
Investigators said they had a tough time cracking the case because of the indiscriminate nature of the crimes. The robberies occurred in crime-ridden neighborhoods of East and West Baltimore, quiet streets in Oakenshawe, downtown parking lots and Charles Village townhouses. "Initially, we tried to compile a profile of the victim," said Detective Massey, who said he has had two hours of sleep since Saturday. "Now we find out it's everybody -- anybody who appears to have at least a dollar on them."
Police said the gang was particularly active between June 2 and June 9, when seven armed robberies and the slaying occurred.
On June 5, police said, members committed a robbery on the city's Westside, then five hours later held up another person in Charles Village. The next day, they robbed two people, in Charles Village and Barclay, two blocks and 15 minutes apart, police said.
"It was just terrifying, I'll tell you that," said Leroy Oliver, 62, who works at AllRight parking in the 300 block of Guilford Ave., which was robbed in February. "It was a bad experience."
He said a man wearing a woman's wig pulled up in a car matching the one involved in the chase yesterday, pointed a gun at him and took $89 and a fistful of quarters from his pocket.
"I dropped a couple of them, but he didn't pick them up," Mr. Oliver said. "That's what I used to call the police."
Investigators got their first break in the case Tuesday, when they arrested Danny Paul McGee, 39, of Parkville and charged him with murder in the death of Mrs. Moffett, his aunt. A judge ordered him held without bail Wednesday.
Although he wasn't at the crime scene, police contend that Mr. McGee set his aunt up by giving Mr. Allen "essential" information about his aunt's banking schedule. Mr. Allen was charged in a warrant Tuesday with trying to rob Mrs. Moffett of $1,500 and shooting her when she struggled.
Yesterday, police said, Mr. Allen and other gang member held up a Signet Bank at the Garrison Forest Shopping Center on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore County. Police said two armed men walked into the bank about 10 a.m., leaped over the counter and demanded money.
They jumped into a red Chevrolet Lumina, which police said had been stolen in a Baltimore carjacking Wednesday, but abandoned it when a dye pack exploded. The suspect then got into a stolen Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, drove to Liberty Road and headed south.
A Baltimore County police officer recognized the car from a witness' description and followed it to Northern Parkway and into the city, where Baltimore officers joined in.
After several miles, police said, the driver apparently realized that he was being followed and sped up. A high-speed chase over several blocks ensued, ending when the car crashed into the van at Bellona Avenue. At least two people in the van were hospitalized with minor injuries.
Police caught both suspects about 50 feet away. Mr. Allen and a man who was not immediately identified were treated at Sinai Hospital for minor injuries after being arrested but before being questioned at the homicide unit.
Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a city police spokesman, said money splashed with red dye and at least two handguns were found in the car. Authorities planned to test the weapons to determine whether one was used in the Moffett slaying.
"Mr. Allen posed a clear and evident danger to the citizens of Baltimore," Agent Weinhold said. "We were eager to get him off the street."
Investigators think they have the other two gang members -- besides Mr. Allen, Mr. McGee and the unidentified man -- in custody.