State police are warning convenience store employees to be vigilant after a series of armed robberies in Carroll and Baltimore counties targeting those kinds of stores.
An armed robbery at the Royal Farms store on Md. 140 near Bethel Road outside Westminster Monday night may be connected to similar robberies in south Carroll and Baltimore County, said Lt. Jim DeWees, commander of the Maryland State Police Westminster barrack. The description of the incident and the suspect match that of a robbery that occurred in Sykesville Saturday and another in the Randallstown area that Baltimore County Police are investigating, DeWees said.
A man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked into the Royal Farms around 10:30 p.m. Monday and milled around, ordered a sandwich, approached the cash register and asked for another item before showing a handgun and telling the clerk to fill a bag with money. The clerk gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash before the suspect left the store and fled in a vehicle waiting at the rear of the building.
DeWees said police believe it was related to a similar incident at the Quickstop Mini Mart in the 7500 block of Village Road in Sykesville that occurred Saturday and a robbery of a 7-Eleven in Randallstown. Because of that, they believe this person is targeting convenience stores late at night.
"If you don't see someone pull up to the store but you have someone walk in and mill about, be suspicious and call us immediately," DeWees said.
Police have been unable to obtain quality surveillance video of the suspect, DeWees said, and the descriptions received have been vague.
No one has been injured in any of the robberies, however police believe the man was involved in an assault at the Eldersburg Plaza Shopping Center about 15 minutes prior to Saturday's robbery in Sykesville.
The victim in that incident told police he walked to the rear of the shopping center to get an item from his car. He observed a male near his vehicle who had just broken into it. He accosted the suspect, who then pointed a handgun at the victim. The suspect fled on foot, entered a blue-and-white Ford pickup and left the area, according to police.
Anyone with information related to any of the incidents should contact Maryland State Police at 410-386-3000.