Police say man killed in Arbutus robbed at least 8 supermarkets

January 22, 1998|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

A robbery suspect shot and killed by police Sunday in an Arbutus supermarket parking lot is believed responsible for at least eight other robberies in recent months in Baltimore County, police said yesterday.

Eric Eugene Knight, who was shot after a botched robbery Sunday morning at the Arbutus Giant, was responsible for four robberies since October of a Super Fresh market on East Drive in Arbutus, said Bill Toohey, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Those robberies were among at least 18 that authorities believe may have been carried out in recent months by the "Super Fresh bandit."

Toohey said investigators have also determined that Knight, 38, of Catonsville tried to rob a PetsMart on Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville on Dec. 28 -- then walked next door and robbed an F & M Super Drug Store. Knight also robbed a Food King in Woodlawn and the Arbutus Giant, in the 4600 block of Wilkens Ave., on Jan. 6, the spokesman said.

Police staked out the Arbutus Giant in an effort to catch the man responsible for a string of holdups. Knight was shot and killed early Sunday after an unsuccessful attempt to rob the store, police said.

Police said Knight was shot as he displayed a pellet gun in one hand and clutched a note reading, "One wrong move and you're dead" in the other.

Devona "DeeDee" Whittaker, 32, of no known address was charged in Sunday's attempted robbery of the Arbutus Giant. Police said she was waiting in a suspected getaway car in the Arbutus Giant parking lot when Knight was killed. No other charges have been filed against Whittaker.

Toohey said detectives were able to link Knight to the other robberies through physical evidence and by showing photo spreads that included his picture to witnesses.

Other robberies that might have been carried out by the Super Fresh bandit -- including a holdup of an Eldersburg store and six robberies in Howard County -- remain under investigation, authorities said.

"We're still looking at him," said Sgt. Dave Richards of the Howard County police. "There are a lot of similarities between the cases that have our detectives very interested."

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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