Police charge 5 teen-agers in series of shotgun holdups

Owen Brown residents from 15 to 17 years old

April 13, 2000|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Howard County police have charged five teen-agers in a string of shotgun holdups in Owen Brown last month.

The suspects, who all live near the scene of the crimes in Columbia's Owen Brown village, were arrested during early-morning police raids of their homes, Sgt. John Superson, a police spokesman, said yesterday.

Four of the youths, who are ages 15 to 17, were charged as juveniles with armed robbery, assault, theft and burglary, Superson said. The fifth suspect, Rouchelle Richard Chesson, 17, of the 6500 block of Fruitgift Place, was charged as an adult with three counts of armed robbery, three counts of first-degree assault and felony theft, police said.

Robbery Detective Duane Pierce got a break in the cases after he posted fliers in the community asking anyone with information to call police. Metro Crime Stoppers and the Police Department offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to arrests and indictments.

"Concerned residents" in the community provided Pierce with tips, Superson said.

At 5: 30 a.m. yesterday, Pierce and other detectives served search warrants at each of the youth's homes on Fretchie Row, Fruitgift Place, Sweet Fern, Hickory Log Circle and Quiet Hours.

In the homes, police recovered a shotgun and rifle, a phony 9 mm handgun and a BB pistol, Superson said.

Superson said detectives believe the guns used in the robberies were stolen during a break-in March 23 at a home in the 7400 block of Hickory Log Circle -- the same street where one of the teen-agers charged in the hold-ups lives.

The youths are charged in three robberies -- two of which occurred in less than an hour March 27 and one on March 28, police said.

In the first holdup, police said, a 49-year-old man was standing at his neighborhood's mailboxes in the 7100 block of Honeyladen Place at 8: 11 p.m. when two males demanded money. One was armed with a rifle. The man gave them his cash and they were seen running on Honeyladen Place.

A short time later -- at 8: 56 p.m. -- police were called to the 6600 block of Cradlerock Way, where a 40-year-old man told detectives that he had just been robbed by a man with a rifle. He told police that the gunman, after taking his wallet, ran across a parking lot toward a field where three or four others appeared to be waiting.

In the holdup March 28, a man was walking on Winter Rose Path to his home when two gunmen, one with a handgun and another with a shotgun, robbed him.

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