Vigilant officer foils robbery before it occurs

Police say pair linked to gun, mask confess

June 21, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A liquor store in Fort Meade had a good chance of being robbed Monday night and the clerk held at gunpoint by a man dressed like the Grim Reaper.

But the robbery didn't happen - not on Officer John Carrier's watch.

The western district officer was on patrol in the area of Charter Oaks Boulevard and Route 175 when he noticed two men behind trash bins of a fast-food restaurant about 10 p.m., police said.

"They were crouched down and when [Carrier] put a spotlight on them, they were pretty startled," said Detective Michael Regan.

After Carrier saw one of the men throw something over a fence, he called for back-up, police said.

While Carrier looked for what had been thrown , another officer continued to watch the pair, who had been traveling on bicycles.

Carrier found a black book-bag, a white skeleton mask with a black hood, handkerchiefs and a BB gun that looked like a small handgun, Regan said.

Both men were taken to the police station. There, Regan and Detective Kevin Tribal interviewed the pair, who allegedly confessed to planning to rob a nearby liquor store or possibly a nearby convenience store, police said.

"They wanted to talk," said Regan, who had arrested one of the men less than two years ago in a robbery.

Yesterday, both men were charged with attempted robbery.

Michael O. Henderson, 20, of Consett Court in Severn, was being held without bail at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on Jennifer Road in Annapolis yesterday. Vincent Marshall, 18, of Richfield Drive in Severn, was being held there on a $100,000 bond last night.

Henderson had been arrested and convicted more than a half-dozen times since 1996 for armed robbery, robbery, assault and car theft. He was released from jail in March, according to records.

Marshall also has been arrested for assault and drug violations, the court records show.

Regan, an investigator in the robbery division, credited Carrier's instincts for catching the suspects.

"It was excellent police work on Officer Carrier's part," Regan said.

He said detectives plan to talk to nearby merchants, including the intended victims, about the attempted robbery and security precautions they should take.

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