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Alleged police impersonator arrested

A 24-year-old Halethorpe man has been charged in connection with one of three recent home-invasion robberies in which armed men identified themselves as police officers and broke into homes in three different parts of the city, bound the occupants and stole money.

The arrest of Lamel Pierce is linked to the first in the series of break-ins, which occurred June 27 in the 1500 block of Medford Road in Northeast Baltimore. Police are seeking two other suspects in that case.

Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the Medford Road robbery is linked to drugs and is not connected to the other two attacks — on Elkins Lane in South Baltimore on July 1 and on West Garrison Avenue on July 5. No arrests have been made in those cases.

Pierce, of the 4300 block of Windy Hill Road, was being held Monday without bail in the Baltimore City Detention Center on charges that include attempted first-degree murder, burglary, using a handgun in a the commission of a violent crime and assault.

Police charging documents filed in District Court say that the victim, Christopher Smith, reported that shortly before 6 a.m. three men dressed as police officers kicked in the front door of his house, also occupied by his girlfriend and their 4-month-old son.

The intruders raced upstairs and used zip ties to bind three people, police said, and forced Smith to the floor with his hands behind his back. "Give the money," one of the gunmen repeatedly shouted, according to the charging documents.

Smith realized his attackers were not police officers, according to the charging documents, and got up to confront them. "One of the suspects discharged the firearm with one round striking Mr. Smith in the back of the neck," according to police.

On May 9, Pierce pleaded guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court to drug distribution charges and was sentenced to three years in prison, with all but one day suspended. He was put on probation for three years. In July, he was convicted of misdemeanor drug possession and sentenced to a day in jail, according to court records.

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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