Week In Review

November 27, 2005

Man charged with carjacking, assault

After stealing a car in an elementary school parking lot as children were arriving, running the security checkpoint at Aberdeen Proving Ground, colliding with a pickup truck in a busy intersection and attempting to steal another car, Jeremy Justin Lepone thought he could make it on foot, police said.

Lepone, a 31-year-old Elkton resident, was arrested after crashing a car he had stolen, according to police. He faces numerous state and federal charges, said Robert B. Thomas, a spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

About 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said, Lepone, armed with a knife, carjacked a 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from a faculty member as children were being dropped off at Magnolia Elementary School in Edgewood, Thomas said. No one was injured, Thomas said.

Lepone fled toward Aberdeen Proving Ground, where APG police began pursuit after he ran one of the base's security checkpoints, Thomas said.

After exiting the base onto Route 24, Lepone crashed into road barriers and a parked APG police cruiser as police attempted to slow him with stop sticks, the spokesman said. Lepone then attempted to make a right turn onto Philadelphia Road but lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a pickup truck, Thomas said.

Lepone tried to carjack another vehicle but was unsuccessful and ran, Thomas said. With police in pursuit, Lepone attempted to break into a residential garage in the 2600 block of Philadelphia Road but was unsuccessful, police said. APG police arrested him about 9 a.m.

Lepone has been charged with one count of first-degree assault, armed carjacking and armed robbery; two counts of robbery; and three counts of second-degree assault, Thomas said. If convicted on all charges, Lepone could face more than 100 years in prison. Because some of the incidents took place on a military base, Lepone also could face federal charges.

He was being treated for undisclosed injuries Wednesday afternoon at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

An investigation was continuing, Thomas said.

Maryland section, Nov. 24

Woman sought in series of robberies

Police believe a woman suspected of robbing five stores in Cecil County has struck again, this time in Pennsylvania, the Cecil Whig reported.

A woman held up a Sunoco gas station Nov. 19 just over the state line in Kemblesville, Pa., state police said. She entered the store about 9:50 p.m. claiming to have a handgun and demanded cash.

Police said she fled after receiving $52. The woman also is suspected in another robbery in Pennsylvania and one in Delaware.

Maryland section, Nov. 24

Rest stop got set for holiday

The calm enveloping the Maryland House rest stop Tuesday obscured days of furious preparation for the crush of holiday travelers expected to plow through Wednesday: thousands of hamburgers, coffee cups and pizza ingredients stockpiled; the bathrooms loaded with toilet paper and hand towels; and extra workers hired.

About 20,000 people were expected to pass through the rest stop on Interstate 95 in Harford County Wednesday as 1.6 million vehicles were to hit Maryland's major highways for the holiday weekend.

Yet, with most of the arrangements made, staff spent Tuesday afternoon giving the place a subtle touch of the season by hanging holiday wreaths.

Two hundred staff members - including 30 hired just for this weekend - worked 10-hour shifts, receiving extra pay and a 15-pound turkey for their efforts.

Lines of customers at the rest stop's six restaurants stretched through the building's foyer and out the front door.

Sbarro's manager Billy Van Dyke said he doubled the usual orders for ingredients such as cheese, sauces, spaghetti and flour, and preparer Haruko Floran has made enough stromboli, spinach and mushrooms to keep things moving.

A section, Nov. 23

County gets grant to fight drug abuse

Harford County was awarded Monday a $99,721 federal grant for drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs. Reps. Wayne T. Gilchrest and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger made the presentation to County Executive David R. Craig at a ceremony in Bel Air. The Drug-Free Communities matching grant is the first of five annual installments totaling nearly $500,000. The money will be used for programs aimed at reducing binge drinking among teenagers and for programs to increase youths' awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Maryland section, Nov. 22

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