Howard police arrest man suspected in area robberies Missing tooth ties suspect to thefts in two counties

March 26, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A missing tooth and a vigilant television news viewer pointed Howard County detectives to the Baltimore man they arrested Tuesday in connection with the robbery of an Ellicott City store last month.

Baltimore County police suspect the same man -- apparently stealing to finance a heroin addiction -- in at least 10 robberies there, a spokesman said.

The break in the case came when Howard County detectives linked the Feb. 21 robbery of the Linen Locker in the 10400 block of Baltimore National Pike to a gap-toothed man suspected in a string of Baltimore County robberies since mid-November.

After a television station aired the man's photograph, a viewer identified the suspect and said he was missing a tooth -- a tidbit that proved to be the crucial link.

"That was the key," said Howard County Cpl. Chuck Jacobs, the lead investigator. "In all the Baltimore County robberies, witnesses described him as missing a tooth or having a gap in his teeth."

Arrest after chase

Police said the Baltimore City Sheriff's Fugitive Apprehension Unit arrested the man Tuesday afternoon after a brief foot chase near a relative's home.

During questioning by Howard County detectives Tuesday, the man began suffering from heroin withdrawal, police said, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Detectives also plan to charge the man in connection with the December robbery of an Ellicott City Subway restaurant. Baltimore County police said they are investigating the suspect and plan to charge him with several robberies.

The Linen Locker robbery occurred about 7 p.m. when a man carrying two pillow cases approached a clerk, police said.

After the cashier rang up the pillow cases, the robber pulled out a dark handgun and told her to "give me all the money," police said.

The man took $300 from the cashier, ordered her and another employee to the ground, and fled, police said.

Charged with armed robbery, robbery, using a handgun during a felony, assault and theft is Bryant Lee Satterfield, 34, of the 5900 block of St. Regis Road in Baltimore.

Last night, Satterfield was being held at the Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Pub Date: 3/26/98

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