Victims turn tables on robbers Assailants repelled in 4 theft attempts

police fear it's a trend

Officers warn residents

'Property can be replaced, lives can't,' says Arundel corporal

August 09, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Bandits, beware -- county residents are fighting back.

In the fourth such incident in a week, an Odenton liquor store owner pulled a gun on the armed man who tried to rob him Tuesday and fired as the bandit ran away, county police said.

Earlier this week, a pizza delivery man and a Baltimore woman each fought their attackers and kept their possessions safe. A gas station clerk wrestled with a gunman Saturday and sent the bandit running.

Police are worried the table-turning scenes may be the beginning of a trend, and they are warning residents not to endanger their lives to save property.

"Property can be replaced, lives can't," said Cpl. Ronald Hines, a county police spokesman who said people should comply with robbers' demands. "We're hoping it's not a trend that's going to continue. It's only a matter of time before someone realizes they can get hurt doing that."

University of Maryland professor David McDowall said it's not unusual for people to resist crimes when they are attacked. A federal survey shows that 61 percent of robbery victims resisted in some way in 1993, the latest year for which statistics are available. Only 3.7 percent of robbery victims in the same period attacked or threatened their assailants with weapons, statistics show.

"Often people make a judgment, and if they think they can get away with [attacking an assailant], they do," McDowall, a professor of criminal justice and criminology, said.

Thomas Hall is one of those people.

The 66-year-old owner of Tom's Liquors in the 1500 block of Annapolis Road, told police he went behind his store to empty a box into a trash bin shortly before 2 p.m. when a man armed with a small silver revolver approached and ordered him to put his hands in the air.

Hall reached into his right pocket, pulled out his own gun, then turned around and pointed it at his assailant, police said. The man, who had covered his face with a white T-shirt with holes cut out near the eyes, turned and ran toward an abandoned lot, according to police. Hall fired one round into the air as the gunman fled, police said.

"I am thinking, 'I am an old man. The robbery man is shooting me, I am shooting, too,' " said Hall, a Korean immigrant who served as an officer in the Korean marine corps. "I'm not afraid. I've faced the Korean War. There was a lot of shooting."

When a robber approached pizza delivery man Joseph Christopher Jenkins, 20, Sunday and demanded his money, the Chelsea Beach man pulled money from one pocket and a can of Mace from the other. His assailant fled after Jenkins sprayed and beat him, police said.

"I didn't feel like I was in any danger of being killed or even being hurt," said the 6-foot 2-inch, 180-pound Jenkins. "I really was just trying to teach him a lesson. I really honestly don't think he'll be trying that again."

Jenkins got a black eye as the attacker flung his arms in self-defense, but was not hospitalized, police said. He offers this warning to would-be robbers: "If you plan on robbing someone, watch out. You might be the one to get your wallet taken."

Dawn Marlene Jenkins, no relation to Joseph, also turned the tables on two attackers who tried to steal her purse Sunday. The Baltimore woman was in an alley in the 5200 block of Disney Ave. in Brooklyn Park, when two men ran up and tried to snatch her purse, police said. Ms. Jenkins' screams and punches scared the men off, police said.

In another incident, a pellet-gun wielding bandit got more than he bargained for Saturday when he tried to rob a gas station in the 7900 block of Crain Highway.

Kenneth Randell Blake, 51, grabbed the gun and struggled with the bandit, who gave up and ran away, police said. Blake was hit in the face during the struggle, but was not seriously injured.

But people who battle thugs and bandits don't always come up winners.

Sometimes they are lucky -- Jenkins and Blake suffered only minor bruises during their scuffles -- but other times being brave can have serious costs.

On Tuesday, a Baltimore man required treatment at North Arundel Hospital after he tried to step between four men and the boy they were beating outside a Crofton restaurant.

Edward William Perry, 27, told the men to stop and they turned on him, beating Perry to the ground before they ran to a car and drove off, police said. The unidentified boy also ran away.

If people are confronted, police say they should not do anything that would jeopardize their personal safety and should comply with a robber's demands.

Officers offered these steps to help people avoid being the victim in a robbery:

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Women should carry their purses in front of them.

Try not to walk alone.

When parking, make sure the lot is well lighted.

Avoid carrying a lot of cash.

Pub Date: 8/09/96

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