Suspect sought in crime spree

Harford traffic stop led to carjackings, abduction

Man also accused of taking cruiser

November 17, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

State police were looking yesterday for a 22-year-old man accused of stealing a trooper's cruiser and committing two subsequent carjackings in Harford County - including the abduction of a pizza deliveryman - during a crime spree sparked by a traffic stop Saturday night.

The suspect, Karief Youmans, is charged in a warrant with 31 counts including kidnapping, armed carjacking and motor vehicle theft in the crimes that started on southbound Interstate 95 about 7 p.m. Saturday and ended after midnight yesterday in Philadelphia, where the abducted man was found unharmed, police said.

"It was amazing," said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. "We're just fortunate no one was injured."

The incident started when Tfc. Raymond Bond stopped a 1993 Toyota Camry on the interstate north of Route 155 in Harford after noticing a burned-out tag light and a seat belt violation. The car was reported stolen in Philadelphia, police said.

Two men, who had no identification, were ordered out of the car and one tried to run away but was immediately arrested, police said. He was identified yesterday as George Briggs, 21, of Philadelphia.

The second man - who authorities believe was Youmans because of an investigation done by Philadelphia police - got back into the Toyota and drove off, sparking a chase by Bond, police said.

The car crashed on Route 155 at Earlton Road, and the driver ran. Bond - alone at the scene - got out of his cruiser to search on foot, locking the vehicle but leaving it running to keep the emergency lights and headlights on, police said.

While the trooper was away, the man circled back, broke a window to get into the cruiser and drove away, police said.

Within the hour, police learned that a man with a gun had carjacked a 32-year-old man about 8:15 p.m. at his Churchville Road home near Aberdeen. The gunman ordered the victim to drive him to Philadelphia, but the victim was able to jump out of his red 1998 Chevrolet Blazer before the assailant drove away, police said.

At 11:20 p.m., state police learned that a deliveryman for Pat's Pizzeria in Havre de Grace had been missing for an hour after his last delivery on Morrison Boulevard in Havre de Grace, police said.

The pizza deliveryman and his Geo Storm were found in Philadelphia about midnight, police said. He told authorities that a man with a gun confronted him after the delivery, ordered him into the trunk and drove for about two hours before stopping. The victim then escaped and called police.

The two victims gave similar descriptions of their carjackers, police said.

The stolen cruiser was found about a half-mile from the scene of the first carjacking and the Chevrolet Blazer taken in that carjacking was found near the deliveryman's scheduled stop, police said.

Investigators found two black jumpsuits, two pairs of black gloves and cash in the trunk of the stolen Toyota, police said.

Briggs was identified through fingerprints. He was charged with three theft-related counts and obstructing and hindering police, and held on $25,000 bond.

State police said the other man was described as black, 5 feet 8 inches tall with a stocky build, with an injured right arm and hand, and wearing a ripped yellow shirt and baggy jeans.

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