Friday armed robberies in Creswell, Bel Air believed to be related

The Harford County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect who allegedly robbed Third Base Liquors, just east of Bel Air, and led police on a chase down Route 40 on Friday afternoon.

Detectives also believe he is connected to an armed robbery at Xtra Mart, in Campus Hills, earlier the same day, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Eddie Hopkins said Monday afternoon he could not give the man's name until the warrant was executed, identifying him only as a 26-year-old Bel Air man.

He is expected to be charged with armed robbery, robbery, assault first degree, assault second degree and theft under $1,000.

The man remains in stable condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was flown by Maryland State Police Medevac after he crashed his white SUV while fleeing from police Friday afternoon.

He rolled over a white SUV several times after clipping another vehicle turning at Route 40 and Pine Avenue, Hopkins said.

No other injuries to police or civilians were reported, according to Hopkins. Westbound Route 40 was shut down at Route 152 for several hours, while deputies investigated the crash scene.

Hopkins said that at about 3 p.m., a person wearing a burka, a mode of female dress that covers all but the eyes, walked into Third Base Liquors, in the 2000 block of South Fountain Green Road in the Creswell area, and engaged the clerk in a discussion about beers, Hopkins said.

At some point, the visitor and the clerk walked to another part of the store, where the visitor asked the clerk for help lifting a case of beer.

"The suspect then pulled a gun and told the clerk to go to the register and demanded cash," Hopkins said. The clerk complied.

"The suspect talked in a high-pitched voice, but there is a belief they could have been a man trying to sound like a woman," Hopkins said.

Hopkins said the robber fled the scene in the white SUV and an alert citizen in the area became suspicious and got the tag number, phoning it in to the police.

A sheriff's deputy on patrol in the vicinity of Routes 40 and 755 in Edgewood saw the suspect vehicle heading west on Route 40, Hopkins said, and turned to give pursuit.

"It appears that the driver of the SUV saw the deputy turn and took then took off, crossing Mountain Road [Route 152] toward Baltimore County," Hopkins continued. "There was a vehicle preparing to turn at Pine Avenue, and the SUV clipped it and rolled over several times and the driver of the SUV was ejected."

There were no passengers in the SUV, according to Hopkins, who said the other driver involved in the accident was not injured.

On Monday afternoon, Hopkins said detectives now believe the robbery is connected to the armed robbery that occurred earlier that same day at Xtra Mart, in the 2400 block of Churchville Road in Bel Air.

"They are continuing to process the evidence necessary to positively connect the two cases," Hopkins said in a news release. "The suspect also faces separate traffic charges as investigation by the Harford County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit continues into the pursuit and subsequent crash."

In the first robbery, the suspect was described as a white man who also fled the area also in an SUV.

Hopkins said both robberies remain under investigation. The man involved in the chase had not been charged as of late Saturday morning.

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