Police suspect link between pair of crimes

Victims had withdrawn money from same bank

March 15, 2000|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Howard County police are investigating a possible link between the robbery of a Jessup shop owner and that of a Columbia woman who was attacked in the driveway of her home last month.

In both holdups, a gunman approached the victims after they had made large withdrawals from the same Columbia bank, police said yesterday.

In the holdup Monday, James Gilles II, owner of Jimmy G's Check Cashing and restaurant, was robbed of about $120,000 when he pulled up to the back of his store in a shopping center at U.S. 1 and Route 175.

The gunman fired several shots at him, and Gilles' son chased the man across the busy intersection, returning fire with a 9 mm handgun, police said. One of the bullets hit the gunman in the leg, and he barricaded himself in a restroom of a Holiday Inn on the other side of the road before surrendering to police. Most of the money was recovered and the suspect remained at Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday.

Sgt. John Superson, a police spokesman, said the suspect, whom police would not identify, likely will be charged with armed robbery, attempted murder and reckless endangerment.

In the Feb. 22 case, a Columbia woman, whom police refused to identify, was returning home from a bank at 11: 15 a.m.

When she parked in the driveway of her home in the 6900 block of Newberry Drive, a gunman demanded her money and thousands of dollars in jewelry that she had taken from her safe-deposit box, police said.

The gunman fired one shot that missed the 63-year-old woman and hit the outside wall of her home. He was last seen leaving the neighborhood in a white van with green lettering or markings on the doors.

Shortly after Monday's holdup, police found a white Bell Atlantic van that had crashed into a ravine a short distance away from the check-cashing business that was robbed. The van had been stolen the day before in Prince George's County.

Anyone with any information about the robberies is asked to call Detective Donald J. Guevara at 410-313-3327 or 410-313-2220.

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