Police charge Hampstead man in robberies

19-year-old a suspect in three armed holdups at convenience stores

March 29, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Hampstead man who is a suspect in three convenience store armed robberies over two days was arrested early yesterday in Westminster after state police in Carroll and Frederick counties compared notes about the robberies.

State police in Frederick said a man brandishing a screwdriver held up a 7-Eleven store on Route 26 in Libertytown shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. Witnesses reported that the suspect drove away with an elderly passenger in a gray Ford pickup truck without a tailgate.

State police in Carroll County were investigating a robbery Sunday morning at the 7-Eleven store on South Main Street in Union Bridge, where a man armed with a screwdriver threatened a clerk, grabbed money from the register and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

After sharing information with Frederick troopers, state police in Westminster located a gray Ford truck Monday night. Its owner, a 60-year-old Union Bridge man who apparently was an unwitting participant, provided information that led to an arrest early yesterday, state police Detective Dave Reichenbaugh said.

Robert L. Mellema, 19, of the 1600 block of Brodbeck Road is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Frederick County Detention Center, a Frederick court official said. He was charged in Frederick County on counts of armed robbery, robbery, theft over $300, and first- and second-degree assault, Reichenbaugh said.

The Carroll County investigation continues and no charges have been filed in the Union Bridge robbery, state police in Westminster said.

Also yesterday, municipal police in Westminster obtained an arrest warrant for Mellema in an armed robbery about 4: 30 p.m. Monday at a High's store in the 200 block of E. Main St.

Court records in Carroll County showed Mellema was arrested Aug. 18 and is awaiting trial on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on personal recognizance the next day.

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