Westminster man, 3 youths accused of trying to rob restaurant owner

Investigation produces three other arrests on drug charges

February 24, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Seven Westminster residents, including three juveniles, have been arrested in a 10-day investigation into an attempted armed robbery, state police said yesterday.

One adult and the three juveniles were charged in the attempted armed robbery, which occurred in the 400 block of John Owings Road on Feb. 13. The three other adults were arrested on drug charges in the course of the investigation.

The attempted robbery occurred outside the home of Frances M. Baker, owner of Bradley's Fox Briar Inn on Littlestown Pike north of Westminster, as she returned home from work about 12: 10 a.m.

Baker told police that two masked men, one with a handgun, tried to rob her, but ran to a nearby car and sped away when she ordered Natasha, her large German shepherd, to attack them, according to police.

Baker, who was not injured, immediately suspected the gunman was a former employee who had a distinctive voice, police said. According to Lt. Terry Katz, commander at the Westminster barracks, Baker also told police that the man had demanded "the money from the Fox Briar Inn."

Cpl. James DeWees, Tfc. A. Andrew Eways and sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Russell Fritz, who is assigned to the criminal investigation division at the barracks, logged at least 200 hours following up on leads.

"With each lead we followed up, we kept learning that more people were involved," DeWees said.

Four handguns believed stolen from relatives of the suspects were recovered during the investigation, police said.

On Feb. 16, investigators confronted a former Fox Briar Inn employee, Courtenay F. Gross, 19, of the 1300 block of Silver Run Valley Road.

Troopers reported finding a black ski mask, a 9 mm Ruger handgun and packages containing residue of suspected heroin during a search of Gross' home. A relative of Gross told police that an Italian-made EIG .38-caliber pistol was missing and believed stolen.

Gross was charged with attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of heroin and weapons charges.

Police, acting on information they said was supplied by Gross, arrested a 15-year-old male. The boy implicated two girls ages 15 and 16, police said.

Police found the missing guns and suspected illegal drugs after searching two Westminster homes Tuesday.

According to police, the male juvenile was charged with attempted armed robbery and related charges. He is being held at a juvenile facility.

The two girls were charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and released to their parents.

Charged with at least two counts of theft over $300, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia was Rocky M. Ibex Jr., 20, of the 500 block of Uniontown Road.

Robert O. Miller Jr. and Alicia M. Stitely, both 18 and both of the 600 block of Johann Drive, were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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