Baltimore police arrested at least 30 people over the weekend as part of an initiative to combat the rising number of armed street robberies across the city, authorities announced on Monday.
The arrests included suspects wanted on outstanding warrants and attacks that occurred in recent days, including an armed carjacking in North Baltimore on Thursday night and a robbery of a couple at gunpoint in South Baltimore early Saturday.
Police said they are closing in on suspects in another attack in Mid-Town Belvedere, in which authorities said two youths on mountain bikes robbed a man of his cell phone and wallet on North Hunter Street, between Guilford and Calvert streets.
“We have noticed an uptick of street robberies in certain areas of the city,” said Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. The areas targeted by police this weekend include South, Southeast, Central and Northwest parts of the city.
While robberies overall are down in the first three months of this year, street robberies are up 16 percent, with 429 reported through March 17, the latest statistics available. That compares with 369 at this time in 2011.
Police officials plan to address the public on the robberies at a community meeting Tuesday 6:30 p.m. in Seton Hill. It’s the monthly meeting of the Central District Police Community Relations Council, held at St. Mary’s in the 600 block of North Paca St.
Guglielmi said police officials will brief residents on the robberies and instruct them on how to act if confronted by a gunman, and how to obtain detailed witness information.
Police said the victims of the attack in South Baltimore called 911 immediately and police recognized a description of a youth on a bicycle he had seen earlier in his shift. That enabled police to arrest a suspect within minutes of the attack.