Felon who escaped work crew suspected in Central Md. crimes He is accused of break-ins, carjackings and robberies

September 27, 1996|By Peter Hermann and Dana Hedgpeth | Peter Hermann and Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF

A felon who walked away from a prison work crew in Baltimore County last month is suspected of going on a crime spree this week that police say includes two carjackings and two break-ins in Howard County, and a spate of armed holdups in Baltimore.

Police last night were searching for Lionel Samuel Wallace, 24, who was serving a five-year sentence for a handgun violation and destruction of property.

He had been confined to the Jessup Pre-Release Unit and was to be released in October 1997. A prison spokeswoman said Wallace walked away from the work detail Aug. 23. The maximum penalty for escape is 10 years in prison.

Baltimore police have charged him in a warrant with two counts of armed robbery in incidents at two fast-food outlets.

A city police spokesman said a man matching Wallace's description "is suspected in as many as six other robberies and carjackings in the Baltimore area" Wednesday and yesterday.

In addition, Howard County police say they plan to file carjacking, robbery and breaking-and-entering charges. Police said the crime spree began Aug. 31, when a man held up the 77 Carryout in West Baltimore. Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a Baltimore police spokesman, said the man, armed with a knife, took money and stabbed a clerk in the arm. A man armed with a gun held up a KFC outlet in West Baltimore on Saturday, Weinhold said.

In Howard County, police suspect the man of breaking into two homes yesterday in the 8100 block of Lincoln Drive in Jessup.

Howard police said a man flagged down a motorist in the 8200 block of Lincoln Drive in Jessup, near where the break-ins occurred, and asked for help. Howard County police spokeswoman Sgt. Tara Ball said the man got into the pickup truck and forced the driver at gunpoint to keep going. She said the driver jumped out and was not injured.

Police said the man then drove the truck into a tree at Cedar Avenue and Lincoln Drive.

A witness told police the man crawled from the truck and flagged down another motorist in a gray Plymouth Voyager. The man forced the occupant to drive toward Baltimore, police said.

About 3: 30 p.m., police said, the driver reported he had dropped the man off at Poplar Grove Street and Franklintown Road in West Baltimore. Officers recovered a .25-caliber handgun from the damaged pickup truck.

Wallace is described as black, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 160 pounds, with a severe case of facial acne. He was wearing blue shorts, a T-shirt, white socks and a single black Reebok shoe, police said.

Metro Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to Wallace's arrest. Call the Baltimore police robbery unit at 396-2636.

Pub Date: 9/27/96

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