Police catch armed robbers in act at Columbia mall

Two Howard County police officers conducting surveillance of a parking lot near the Columbia mall observed two men place a semi-automatic pistol into another man's stomach and rob him, according to charging documents.

The two men identified in the incident, which occurred Sept. 6 at 11:30 p.m., were arrested immediately by officers called to the scene after the surveillance team observed one man drop the handgun on the ground before robbing the victim.

Odell Kareme Copeland, 31, of Columbia, and Pierre Antwan Booth, 28, of Randallstown, were charged with armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault and use of a firearm in a violent crime, among other charges.

Booth, identified by police as the man toting the handgun, was also charged with possession of a handgun, concealing a dangerous weapon and possession of a handgun with a felony conviction.

According to the charging documents, the surveillance team observed Copeland and Booth approach the victim in the parking lot in front of Union Jack',s located in the 10400 block of Little Patuxent Parkway.

Police said one of the surveillance officers saw Booth take out a semi-automatic handgun, fumble with it, and drop it on the ground. Police said the man immediately picked it up and continued to walk toward the victim.

The documents stated that the victim told police Booth pointed a gun to his head, ordered him into the car, and robbed him. The victim said the men stole his cell phone, car keys, a pack of cigarettes and $75 in cash.

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