Gunman ties up two, flees mall with jewelry Diamonds among items stolen from repair shop

January 07, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A robber brandishing a silver-colored handgun stole diamonds and jewelry from a repair shop in The Mall in Columbia yesterday afternoon after binding the hands and feet of the store's owner and an employee, police said.

At 12: 15 p.m., a man approached the owner of Columbia Jewelry Service Center and displayed a semiautomatic handgun, said Sgt. Steven E. Keller, spokesman for the Howard County police.

The robber forced the owner into a back room, where he taped the man's hands and feet, then did the same to an employee, Keller said.

The robber then opened an unlocked safe and removed an undetermined amount of jewelry and diamonds, Keller said.

During the robbery, a customer entered the shop and the robber told her to come back later, Keller said.

The suspect then fled, Keller said.

After a few minutes, the victims were able to free themselves.

Keller said there were 11 robberies at or around the mall last year, including robberies of businesses and incidents in the parking lots.

There were at least two business robberies at the mall last year, records show.

Yesterday's robbery occurred at a store a few feet from the upper-level northwest entrance near Hecht's department store.

The value of the stolen goods was not immediately determined.

Police said they are looking for a man in his 20s, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a baseball cap and gloves.

Pub Date: 1/07/98

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