Man, 35, charged in 8 hotel robberies

Suspect spotted by off-duty officers


September 20, 2001|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

After nine hotels in the Annapolis area were robbed in 13 days, Anne Arundel County police waited for another holdup with an arrest warrant in hand.

They didn't wait long.

Yesterday, county police charged a former handyman who stayed at several of the hotels he is accused of robbing.

Anthony Tyrone Bryant, 35, whose last fixed address was in Severna Park, was charged with the armed robberies of eight hotels - six of them in Annapolis - and with the attempted robberies of two hotels in Annapolis. He is also a suspect in another Annapolis hotel robbery, police said.

In nearly all of the robberies, hotel clerks were approached by a man wearing a baseball cap whose hand was wrapped in a gray jacket as if concealing a weapon, said county Detective Eric M. Hodge. The robber handed the clerks handwritten notes saying, "Empty the drawer," according to police.

In some cases, as much as several hundred dollars was taken, police said.

The string of robberies began Sept. 5 at a Best Western Hotel on Riva Road and ended Tuesday with the holdup at Lowe's Hotel in downtown Annapolis, police said.

The break in the cases came Sunday, when a group of off-duty detention center officers recognized a man running out of the Hampton Inn on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie after a robbery there, police said. They recognized the man as a recently released inmate, Hodge said.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Bryant that night. Police commanders then ordered officers to stake out area hotels in case the suspect appeared, Hodge said.

Southern District Officer Greg Speed saw the suspect's car, a red 1991 Dodge Shadow convertible, enter the parking lot of the Days Inn on Riva Road about 10 p.m. Tuesday. He stopped the car, and officers recognized the driver as the suspect wanted in the warrant, Hodge said.

Bryant was being held without bail last night at the detention center on Jennifer Road in Annapolis.

"This was a big case," Hodge said. "The Annapolis area is the biggest tourist area in Anne Arundel County. And these robberies put a lot of people in fear."

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