Liberty High junior arrested in Exxon armed robbery

A Liberty High School junior was arrested Monday after an early morning armed robbery at the Exxon gas station on Liberty Road in Sykesville, according to a Maryland State Police news release.

Sykesville resident John Francis Gallagher III, 16, is facing multiple charges after police say he threatened an Exxon clerk with a knife and stole multiple packs of cigarettes.

After consulting with the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, Gallagher has been charged as an adult with armed robbery, robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and theft less than $1,000, according to police.

Police responded to the Exxon around 4:20 a.m. Monday for the report of an armed robbery.

The store clerk told police a man - later identified as Gallagher - approached the counter, displayed a knife that appeared to be a "steak knife," and instructed the clerk to empty the register, according to the news release.

According to police, the clerk asked Gallagher if he was serious and after Gallagher said he was, he walked behind the counter displaying the knife.

According to police, the clerk then turned to the register to open it when Gallagher allegedly began taking packs of cigarettes from the shelf and putting them in his backpack.

The clerk attempted to tackle the suspect and a scuffle ensued that caused the clerk to be cut on his wrist, police said.

After the scuffle, the clerk chased Gallagher out the front door and across the parking lot toward Liberty Road, according to police.

Surveillance tapes showed the suspect leaving the scene on a skateboard. Photos taken from the video surveillance were shown to school officials in the area who identified Gallagher, police said.

Police contacted Gallagher inside Liberty High and found a knit cap that was also seen on the surveillance videos, according to the news release.

Police said a search of Gallagher's home turned up the backpack, hooded sweatshirt, cigarette packs, a knife, pants, and shoes matching the description of the items seen on the surveillance video.

Anyone with any further information about the crime is asked to contact the State Police at the Westminster barrack at 410-386-3001.

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