By Julie Baughman, email@example.com
2:57 PM EST, February 15, 2013
Three men have been arrested in connection with 24 convenience store robberies — three of which occurred in Lansdowne and Arbutus — over the course of six weeks, according to Baltimore County Police.
Police have arrested Omar Hance, 31, of the 600 block of East 29th Street, in Baltimore; and Darrell Blackwell, 26, of the 8700 block Greystone Lane, in Columbia. Each man is charged with 11 counts of armed robbery and first-degree assault.
Police arrested and charged Willie Vinson, 24, of the 1000 block Bethune Road, in Cherry Hill, with 12 counts of armed robbery and first-degree assault.
The three are being held without bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center, according to county police.
Police believe the first incident occurred Dec. 23, 2012, at 8:10 p.m., at the Royal Farms store located at 6100 Holabird Ave., in southeastern Baltimore.
Police said the Royal Farms store on Wilkens Avenue and the Royal Farms store on Hollins Ferry Road were robbed on Saturday, Jan. 26, between 7:31 p.m. and 7:49 p.m. The 7-Eleven store on Annapolis Road was robbed Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8:23 p.m.
The Royal Farms store at 3360 Annapolis Road, in Baltimore; and the 7-Eleven at 2704 Washington Blvd., in Baltimore, were also robbed on Sunday, Jan. 6, and Tuesday, Jan. 15, respectively.
Police said the last incidents occurred Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10:56 p.m., at the 7-Eleven on West 33rd Street, in north Baltimore; and at 11:01 p.m., at the Royal Farms store on West 41st Street, in north Baltimore.
Convenience stores on West 29th Street and West Cold Spring Lane in north Baltimore had also been robbed in the six-week period, according to police.
In all 24 cases, one suspect drove and remained in the vehicle while the other two robbed the store, according to police.
Police said employees were threatened with a stun gun and a pellet gun, which looks like an actual handgun, but no one was injured.
Cash was stolen in all but two of the incidents from High's, 7-Eleven and Royal Farms stores, police said.
Shortly after the last two robberies on Feb. 7, Baltimore City Police and Baltimore City Police Department's Foxtrot helicopter located and followed a vehicle they believed the robbers used. The vehicle's occupants were later caught by city and county police in the parking garage of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, in Towson.
The arrests were made as the result of a combined investigation by Baltimore County Police, Baltimore City Police and the FBI's Baltimore Field Office.
"There is no doubt that these three men would have continued victimizing businesses and store employees if our robbery detectives in the county and the city had not used solid police work to put the pieces together, and then relentlessly pursued this case," said Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.