4th arrest made in Fort Howard holdup Cashier at lights display charged with conspiracy

December 18, 1997|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

The cashier who said she was a holdup victim Saturday night at the Festival of Lights holiday display at Fort Howard was charged yesterday with conspiracy in the crime, in which her son also has been charged.

The accusation against Karen Ballman, 42, of the first block of Floral Place in Middle River brought to four the number of people charged in the incident, which netted the robbers nearly $7,000.

Arrested and charged Monday were Ballman's son, Thomas Allen Harvey, 24, also of the first block of Floral Place, and Kenneth Bowman, 22, who was picked up near his home in the 800 block of Wilson Point Road.

The fourth suspect was Michael Miko, 24, of Essex, a construction worker arrested Tuesday on marijuana distribution charges. Robbery and handgun charges were added yesterday, and Miko was held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

John F. Weber, Baltimore County director of Recreation and Parks, praised persistent efforts by county detectives to solve the crime.

Police said two men entered the Edgemere office of the light show about 11 p.m. Saturday, handcuffed the manager and cashier and bound their feet with duct tape. The thieves took money from the safe and from the two people, totaling $6,999.

One man was carrying a silver-colored revolver. Sgt. Kevin B. Novak, a police spokesman, said no gun had been recovered, and detectives would not say if any stolen money had been found.

Robbery squad detectives believed from the outset that the robbers had inside information and conducted extensive interviews before making the first two arrests Monday, Novak said.

Witnesses said the robbers took Ballman's car and, at the park entrance, transferred to a Nissan Altima, which was driven by a third person, police said.

Harvey was arrested Monday afternoon in Essex when he returned a rented Altima that matched the description of the car involved in the robbery. Someone in Edgemere noted the tag number and notified police. Detectives made the connection with Harvey's mother through their mutual address, Novak said.

Ballman, a part-time county employee who worked at Rocky Point Park in the summer, was arrested before 6 a.m. yesterday and transferred to the County Detention Center in Towson after being denied bail at the North Point Precinct. Ballman was charged with armed robbery, handgun violation and conspiracy.

Pub Date: 12/18/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.