Gas station owner, undercover officer foil robbery attempt Man tries to hold up business twice in 2 days

June 05, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A determined gas station owner and a passing Baltimore County undercover officer foiled a persistent would-be robber early yesterday morning, police said.

Late Wednesday night, a man tried to rob the Shell station at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Stemmers Run Road, police said. The station attendant managed to run out the door without giving up any money, said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey, and the would-be robber left.

At 7: 15 a.m. yesterday the man returned, according to police, and handed over a note demanding money and implying he had a weapon. The business owner, Sajjam Singh Kahndal, was behind the cash register. Like his employee the night before, Kahndal ran out the door without giving up any cash.

The robber took the cash box from the register, police said, and started out the door. Kahndal, who had been trying unsuccessfully to summon assistance from the station's parking lot, ran to the door and held it closed, trapping the robber in the store.

The struggle between the robber and Kahndal caught the eye of a Baltimore County undercover detective assigned to the intelligence unit, who was sitting in his unmarked car at the intersection of Eastern and Stemmers Run on his way to work in Essex.

The detective, who spoke to The Sun on condition of anonymity, said that he realized something was amiss at the station.

"He [the owner] was trying to hold the door shut," the detective said. "I saw somebody trying to get out. You could see the door open and close, open and close."

The robber prevailed, pushing the door open and knocking Kahndal to the ground.

The detective got to the station lot and ran after the robber, who sprinted behind the station and into an alley. The detective caught him in the stairwell of an apartment house in the 1600 block of Doolittle Road in the Village of Tall Trees, police said.

"It was definitely an interesting start to the morning," the detective said yesterday.

No gun was found on the robber or at the scene, police said. The cash box was found near the arrest scene, police said.

Police charged Sterling Tyrone Epps, 29, of the 1300 block of Goodwood Ave. in the Hyde Park section of Essex, with attempted robbery, robbery and assault.

Pub Date: 6/05/98

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