City man being held in robberies of teacher, students in Bolton Hill

October 28, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

After turning over her cash and cellular phone at gunpoint, the 32-year-old college lecturer was sitting in the driver's seat of her Honda Civic as the abductor said he was going to drop the car keys halfway down a dark alley for her to retrieve in five minutes.

Then, with a gun pointed at the woman's face, the robber was silent for a second and took in his surroundings. "`You know, this isn't a very safe neighborhood,'" the woman said the robber told her. "`I don't want you getting out. Why don't I just leave the keys here.'"

After the gunman ran away, the woman drove home.

"He was actually, probably, as nice a robber one could hope to get," said the woman, who requested her name be withheld for fear of retaliation.

Police said yesterday that the woman and two students at the Maryland Institute College of Art were victims of the same robber. Albert Leonard, 23, of the 1600 block of Druid Hill Ave. was arrested two weeks ago in the robberies, police said. He is being held at the city jail on carjacking, robbery and theft charges.

The first robbery in Bolton Hill occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 29 in the 200 block of W. Lanvale St., when a gunman approached a 21-year-old student getting into her Ford pickup truck. He told the woman to get on her knees and hand over her keys, police said. The robber drove away with the truck.

That night, the robber struck again. About 11:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of Park Ave., the college lecturer was getting into her Civic when the man appeared with a gun. He made her drive to an automated teller machine in the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Ave., because he could not drive the car's manual transmission, the victim said. He took $140 and the phone before he fled.

About 1:20 p.m. Oct. 4, a 20-year-old college student was standing with two friends in her apartment building in the 1600 block of Park Ave. when a gunman demanded their cash, police said. He then forced the student to drive him to an ATM. He took her cash and ran away, police said.

Detectives were led to Leonard because he used a stolen cellular phone to call his aunt's house, where he was staying at the time, police said.

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