Police arrested four teenage boys Wednesday who they believe were part of a group that carjacked a woman carrying her 7-week-old daughter Tuesday in Homeland.
The carjacking, which followed an armed robbery two days earlier, raised concern among neighbors in the North Baltimore neighborhood.
Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said Wednesday evening that police had arrested the four suspects after locating the stolen Volkswagen Passat and following a brief pursuit.
Smith said police believe the same group of suspects is responsible for both incidents.
Officers with the Regional Auto Theft Task Force located the car Wednesday in the 5900 block of Benton Heights Ave. in Northeast Baltimore and attempted to make a traffic stop, but the occupants fled, police said. Two juveniles were taken into custody, and police recovered a weapon. Two other juveniles were arrested later, Smith said.
Police charged two 16-year-old boys as adults — Korran Joshua Morris and George William Bryant, both of Baltimore. Both were charged with armed carjacking. A 14-year-old boy and 15-year-old boy were charged as juveniles, both on stolen auto charges.
"Once again, very disturbing that we are talking about children," he said. "It's sad, it's frustrating, it's upsetting. We can't underscore it enough that we are dealing with a lot of the same young people who are in and out of the [criminal justice] system."
The latest case occurred about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on Springlake Way, when a 32-year-old woman was getting out of her car and a group of six teens started running to the vehicle and asked for her keys, according to a redacted police report.
The teens then took the woman's car and fled north on Springlake Way. The woman and her daughter were not injured.
The report redacted the woman's name, but WBAL radio broadcaster Brett Hollander identified the victim as his wife on his Twitter account.
"It's the worst day of your life when your wife tells you she was robbed at gunpoint outside her home holding her 7-week-old daughter," he wrote in a tweet Tuesday night.
Hollander did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
On the community website Nextdoor, Hollander told his neighbors that "it was a horrible and terrifying experience," but thanked police for their response.
At a news conference Wednesday, Smith said police had stepped up patrols in the area.
He said Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis went to visit the family Tuesday night. He said the police commissioner and mayor have been making a point of paying visits to victims of crime, especially the elderly or families with young children.
"They did that with little fanfare. It was just something they felt that they needed to do," Smith said. "I would hope that no one has to hold their 7-week old child and have to be the victim of a crime like that."
In the incident Sunday, a group of young males, including one believed to be as young as 12, robbed a 61-year-old woman in an alley in the 5000 block of Springlake Way, according to a police report.
Police said one suspect was about 18 years old and was wearing a nylon ski mask, and pointed a handgun at the victim, who then offered the suspects her cellphone.
Police said the younger suspect then tried to pull keys that were attached to her belt but couldn't get them loose. The teens then fled in a gold, late-model Ford Taurus. The victim wasn't injured.
Bob Heck, who has lived in Homeland for 17 years, said neighbors are disturbed over the recent incidents.
"There's a tremendous amount of concern," he said.
Heck questioned whether police have enough resources to curb the spike in violence across the city and deal with other crimes.
"My concern is if there is a shortage of resources," he said. "It's unbelievably unsettling to have this kind of situation occur anywhere."