Three teens charged in pizza delivery robbery

May 20, 2006|By MELISSA HARRIS | MELISSA HARRIS,SUN REPORTER

Howard County police charged three teenagers yesterday in the robbery of a 69-year-old Domino's pizza delivery man in an Ellicott City parking lot.

The victim told police that two suspects, wearing ski masks and bandanas, approached him at gunpoint at about 11:45 p.m. Thursday in the 3200 block of Wheaton Way, stole cash from him and fled on foot.

At 2 a.m. yesterday, Pfc. John Coonts stopped a 1995 Toyota Camry and found marijuana, a ski mask, a bandana, Domino's pizza boxes, money and a BB gun in the car.

Hugh Merrill Scoggins, 18, of Treyburn Court in Ellicott City, and Corey Freeman, 17, of Columbia, were charged as adults. Another teenager, a girl from Ellicott City, was charged as a juvenile. Police did not release her name.

Pizza delivery drivers in the county often are at risk for robberies. Last year, the Police Department won a statewide crime prevention award for encouraging pizza delivery drivers to turn off their car-top advertisements in residential areas. Police believed that the ads were attracting thieves.

Police reported on the award application that the education effort cut robberies in half early last year. They have seen a recent rise in the incidents, however - six in January alone - and dispatched a robbery detail to hot spots, most of which were in Columbia, said Pfc. Jennifer Reidy.

That detail stopped pizza robberies in February, March and most of last month, in which there was one incident. Police then scaled the effort back, but the robberies picked up again this month with four incidents, including the one Thursday night.

"We're increasing our enforcement efforts with a special team to bring the numbers back down to where they were," Reidy said.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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