Police in Harford County arrested three Edgewood youths early yesterday in connection with a convenience store holdup, and were investigating whether they could be linked to a series of armed robberies of gas stations and stores along the Route 22 and U.S. 40 corridors since early last month.
Robbery Task Force members from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police and Aberdeen Police Department arrested the suspects after a tip led police to an armed robbery at an EZ Quick Food Market in Bel Air about 3 a.m.
Although the robbers had fled by the time police arrived, a sheriff's deputy on patrol in Edgewood spotted four men matching the robbers' description at a Crown gas station. The driver fled on foot, but the three passengers remained in the car, which had been reported stolen in Baltimore. Deputies reported finding money and disguises inside the car, and charged the suspects with armed robbery, theft of more than $500 and theft of a motor vehicle.
The suspects were identified as Earl Cobb, 16, and James Mitchell, 18, both of the 1800 block of Grempler Way, and Shaun Brown, 17, of the 1900 block of Eloise Lane. All were charged as adults.
Police said the EZ Quick holdup was similar to the other robberies in the area, leading them to question whether they could be linked.
The Harford robberies began June 8 at a Crown gas station in Churchville. Two days later, state police were called to another robbery at an Amoco station in Bel Air. Three other robberies soon followed: June 15 at a Gunpowder Mobil gas station in Joppatowne, June 21 at a Royal Farms store in Churchville and June 24 at Magnolia Exxon in Edgewood. There was also a similar armed robbery June 21 at a Royal Farms store in which a shot was fired.
The task force formed June 24 to coordinate investigation of the robberies. Other members include Havre de Grace and Bel Air officers.