Baltimore County Police said Monday that a man in custody in Baltimore City is also suspected in last week's robbery of an 18-year-old woman as she jogged through West Towson.
Speaking at a community meeting, Capt. Richard Howard, commander of the Towson Precinct, did not release the man's identity, but said county police have issued an arrest warrant for him. Howard said the man was arrested in the city after allegedly stealing a car in the Towson area and driving it to the city. Howard did not provide the identification of the suspect or any details of the date or time of the arrest.
Howard told the 30 people in attendance at the meeting held at Bykota Center in Towson that the suspect had been identified by the jogger from a photo.
County police are waiting to question the suspect in relation to both the armed robbery in West Towson and attempted robberies on Thursday, Aug. 15, in the West Lake Avenue area and Rodgers Forge, Howard said.
Howard had said last week that police were exploring the possibility that the three incidents were related.
In West Towson, the woman was jogging in the area of West Chesapeake Avenue and Burnbrae Road at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, when two men in an older, dark blue or black sedan, drove up alongside her, police said.
The man in the passenger seat got out and pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at the jogger and demanded her white iPod Touch.
The jogger hesitated, and the robber repeated himself before grabbing the iPod from the woman's hand, police spokeswoman Louise Rogers-Feher said last week. The jogger then ran back to her house to report the incident, police said.
During a monthly meeting of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations on Thursday, Aug. 15, Howard discussed the incidents in the West Lake Avenue area and Rodgers Forge that occurred within 10 minutes of each other.
At around 1 a.m. Thursday, Howard said, a man and a woman were walking on West Lake Avenue near Buckingham Manor Drive in Towson when they were approached by two men in a vehicle and asked what property they had with them. The couple told the men they had nothing and they were then told by the men to walk away.
Ten minutes later, Howard said, a man walking in Rodgers Forge in the area of Dunkirk and Dorking roads was approached by two men in a vehicle but the walker fled on foot. Howard said the assailants in both incidents were in dark, late-model sedans.
During the West Towson meeting Monday, called by County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, residents from Southland Hills and West Towson discussed options for curtailing crime in those neighborhoods.
Suggestions ranged from the simple, such as leaving exterior lights on, to more the involved, such as starting a Citizens on Patrol group in the neighborhood.
Janice Arcieri and Pat France, two leaders of Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, discussed starting COP organizations in those communities. Howard said the COP groups "help a lot" because police "can't be in your community all the time because we don't have that many police officers."
To that end, community leaders collected names and contact information with the idea that Southland Hills and West Towson could combine resources because they share boundaries.
SueAnn Griffin, president of the West Towson Neighborhood Association, endorsed the formation of a COP.
"I think we can be more conscientious of our surroundings and take care of our neighbors," Griffin said.
However, Griffin said she wasn't sure the energy for such a group could be maintained in the wake of the armed robbery.
"I think it's going to take a while to get started," Griffin said. "But that's normal."