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Two from Westminster charged with armed robbery

Two from Westminster charged with armed robbery
Andrea Brooks and Nicoya Kerral Johnson (Courtesy Photo)

Andrea Brooks and Nicoya Kerral Johnson, both of Westminster were arrested Monday after Brooks allegedly broke a woman’s car window as Johnson pepper-sprayed the woman and took her purse, police said.

Both are charged with six counts, including one count each of armed robbery, first-degree assault and theft between $100 and $1,500.

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Brooks, 48, is being held without bail following a Tuesday bail review and Johnson, 30, was released on $5,000 bail according to electronic court records.

According to the statement of probable cause, Maryland State Police responded to the 300 block of Ridge Road in Westminster just after 5 a.m. Monday and spoke to a woman who said she had been robbed by two people known to her, whom she identified as Brooks and Johnson. She said had gone to Brooks’ residence because he said he could repay money that he owed her.

When she arrived, Brooks and Johnson approached her vehicle and Brooks broke the window with a hammer before Johnson sprayed her with pepper spray and took her purse and phone, she said. She tried to defend herself with a stun gun, she said. They then ran into the residence, she told police, according to the statement.

Police observed a laceration to the woman’s hand and she said she was in pain from the pepper spray. EMS personnel evaluated her on scene, according to the statement.

Police established a perimeter around the residence and three people exited including Brooks and Johnson. Police checked the residence for additional people while securing the property for a search warrant. At this time, a purse matching the alleged victim’s description was observed in plain view next to the door. A hammer with an orange handle was observed on the porch, according to the statement.

Police also observed a vehicle out front with the driver door ajar and broken glass in the vehicle and on the ground. The ignition key was on the ground nearby. A piece of the steering column, which suggested the key had been removed violently was found inside the vehicle, according to the statement.

Brooks and Johnson were interviewed by police at the Westminster Barrack. Brooks said he had picked up the hammer because he observed that the woman had a stun gun. He “stated that he did not want [the woman] to leave because she was not acting right so he broke the window with his hammer and forcibly removed the key from the ignition,” according to the statement.

He said he did not owe the woman money and did not know why she would be at his residence. He did not offer an explanation for how the woman’s purse came to be inside the house, according to the statement.

Johnson denied involvement in the altercation, according to the statement. She told police that Brooks broke the window and was holding a knife with a brown handle. She said he was later in possession of the woman’s purse and phone inside the residence, according to the statement.

Brooks and Johnson are each scheduled for preliminary hearings Jan. 8.

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