Two people reported being pulled into a vehicle and robbed early Wednesday in the affluent Roland Park neighborhood, according to police.
"The department believes these are crimes of opportunity, and that the individuals in the community were targeted because it's a nice neighborhood," said Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman. "We have a very good description of the suspects and detectives are working hard to identify the individuals responsible."
Both incidents occurred around 2 a.m., Guglielmi said.
The first occurred when a 19-year-old man who said he was riding his bicycle in the 4800 block of Roland Ave. on the way home from the grocery store when he was approached from behind by a vehicle, which struck him and caused him to fall. Two suspects put him in their vehicle, robbed him of his belongings and let him go.
Later, a 40-year-old woman told police she was in the unit block of Upland Road and returning home from work when a car passed her and abruptly made a U-turn and blocked her in. A man got out of the rear passenger side, pointed a silver handgun at her, and put her in the vehicle. She was taken to an ATM to withdraw money, and was left at the corner of Upland and Roland roads.
The suspects are described as a white man with a shaved head and "thick build," while the second is a black man, also with a thick build, who was wearing a knit cap and a khaki jacket or sweatshirt.
Police said the men were driving a silver, four-door Dodge Stratus.
Earlier this year, two women were robbed at gunpoint in the same area, as they walked out of the Petit Louis Bistro restaurant in the 4800 block of Roland Ave. One of the victims was 73-year-old Sally Michel, a longtime civic leader.
The Northern District, which includes Roland Park as well as Charles Village, Waverly and Penn Lucy, has been perhaps the hardest hit by crime this year compared to last year, with steep increases in homicides (22 so far this year compared with nine at this time last year), shootings (28 compared with 21), robberies (a 19 percent increase), and larcenies (a 9 percent). Burglaries are down 14 percent.
Maj. Sabrina Tapp-Harper said she's already tabbed an officer to patrol during targeted hours in response to a rise in burglaries in Roland Park. "His hours have been extended, and we're going to have additional patrols in the area," Tapp-Harper said. "We intend to catch the perpetrators."
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