2 men sought in robberies of city garages Police attribute 7 holdups to pair this month

June 23, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Two men are suspected of targeting downtown Baltimore parking garages in a robbery spree that has prompted increased security and police patrols in the heart of the city's business district.

Detectives have attributed seven armed holdups this month to the two men, one of whom displays a silver-colored handgun and a demand note that he hands to cashiers while they are in their booths.

"Look ms, I'm illen," he wrote in one note, leading police to believe the suspect is addicted to drugs and going through withdrawal. In that robbery, police said he got $5.

"Two guys came in and forced me to open the cash register," said one attendant at Central Parking, a five-story garage at Saratoga and Charles streets.

The cashier didn't want to give his name because he is a witness. His garage was held up twice, Thursday afternoon and June 14. "We don't keep too much money on hand, but if someone is showing you a gun, you get scared," he said.

Sgt. John Cannon of the robbery unit said 14 downtown garages have been robbed since January, and police are trying to determine whether any of those can be linked to the suspects. He said witnesses have identified the gunman in the most recent series of robberies from a computer sketch.

The times of the holdups have varied -- from 8: 30 a.m. to 11: 30 p.m. Cannon said the suspects appear to patiently wait until no customers are paying for parking. He also said that most booths are away from street traffic, but close enough to a sidewalk to offer an easy escape.

The garages hit include ones in the 100 block of W. Saratoga St., 200 block of N. Paca St., 300 block of W. Lombard St., 100 block of S. Eutaw St., 100 block of N. Charles St. and 400 block of Park Ave. Cathedral Parking Garage in the 1300 block of Cathedral St. was hit twice, the latest Friday.

Pub Date: 6/23/98

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