2 men charged in robbery at holiday light show Police think crime at Fantasy of Lights office may have been 'inside job'

December 17, 1997|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

Two Middle River men have been charged with robbing the Fantasy of Lights holiday display at Fort Howard Park of $6,999 Saturday night, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

Investigators think the robbers used "inside information" to carry out the crime, said Sgt. Kevin B. Novak, a police spokesman.

He declined to say how the robbers might have obtained the information, adding, "As far as we know, no one who works there has been implicated in the crime."

Detectives are continuing their investigation in hopes of identifying a third person thought to have taken part in the robbery, Novak said.

Police said the light show in Edgemere was robbed about 11 p.m. Saturday by two masked men, one of whom was carrying a silver-colored revolver.

The robbers entered the office, handcuffed the manager and part-time employee, bound their feet with duct tape and took $6,999 -- the show's Saturday night gate receipts -- from the safe, along with money from the two workers.

The robbers escaped in a silver-colored, four-door Nissan Altima driven by a third person, police said.

Thomas Allen Harvey, 24, of the first block of Floral Place and Brian Kenneth Bowman, 22, of the 800 block of Wilson Point Road were arrested Monday and charged with armed robbery and handgun violations, said Novak.

Each was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bail, he said.

Harvey was arrested in an Altima matching the description of the car involved Monday afternoon in Essex, Novak said. Bowman was arrested Monday night near his home, the spokesman said. Police said a previous account -- that the Altima was rented from a company in Glen Burnie and was returned Sunday morning -- was incorrect.

The holiday light show, in its third year, is sponsored by the county's Department of Recreation and Parks. For $10, motorists can drive through Fort Howard Park to view more than 100 light displays depicting holiday scenes. The show opened in late November and is to end Jan. 3.

Last year, 10,200 vehicles visited, 40 percent fewer than the year before. Attendance is up 14 percent this year, said John F. Weber, county director of recreation and parks.

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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