Gas station manager tails car after robbery

2 arrested

Police investigating possible links to other area holdups

January 12, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

Two men arrested in the armed robbery of a Maryland City gas station after the manager followed them for more than 20 miles were in custody yesterday, and police said they were investigating possible connections with robberies in several counties.

The Exxon station in the 3300 block of Fort Meade Road in Maryland City was robbed Wednesday afternoon. A man with a handgun demanded the money from the register while another man waited outside in a green Pontiac Sunfire.

The station manager followed the two to Capital Plaza in Hyattsville, where he flagged down a Prince George's County officer to point out the fleeing men.

Police said the driver - identified as Harold N. Wood, 31, of Upper Marlboro - stepped out of the car and was arrested. His companion moved to the driver's seat and sped away, police said.

With officers from Prince George's, the District of Columbia and the National Park Police in pursuit, a bag that contained a loaded .22-caliber handgun was tossed out of the car, police said.

The man abandoned the car in Southeast Washington and ran into a building under construction on C Street, where work crews were evacuated by police until the man's surrender. He was identified as Dylan Edward Whitehorn, 35, a Washington resident. He remained in custody yesterday, awaiting extradition to Maryland on charges of armed robbery, police said.

Wood, also charged with armed robbery, was being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on Jennifer Road on $100,000 bail.

Police said detectives in Laurel and in Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Howard and Prince George's counties are investigating whether the men might be linked to holdups in those jurisdictions.

"Based on their descriptions, their M.O. and the vehicles they used as getaways, we're looking at these suspects in similar-style robberies," said Sgt. Tom Wilson, head of Anne Arundel's robbery unit.

The other robberies include one Tuesday at the Tobacco Depot in Corridor Marketplace in Laurel in which a man told the clerk, "Don't come after me. I have a needle with AIDS." He fled in a car driven by another man.

"There's not a lot of difference between being threatened with a needle containing a deadly disease and being threatened with a knife or gun," Wilson said. "The needle could be just as deadly."

Anne Arundel detectives are also investigating unrelated crimes, including gunpoint holdups of a Pizza Max in Millersville on Jan. 2 and a Denny's restaurant in Hanover on Jan. 3, and the knifepoint robbery of a Northwest Baltimore man by a stranger who gave him a ride from Baltimore to Glen Burnie on Monday.

The Maryland City gas station manager, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, was waiting yesterday for an overnight delivery of a cellular telephone. He said he thought it would be good to be able to call police if he ever chases robbers again.

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