Gangs of gunmen robbed a downtown jewelry store of gold chains and cash yesterday afternoon and nearly $10,000 in cash from an Asian grocery store on York Road last night, Baltimore police said.
The police said the holdups appeared unrelated to each other or to the recent wave of armed robberies at supermarkets, banks and restaurants in the Baltimore area.
Three men armed with semiautomatic handguns took only seconds to rob the Gold Rush jewelry store in the 200 block of North Howard Street of several gold chains and an undisclosed amount of cash at about 4:15p.m.
One stood guard outside the store, while the others ordered three employees and a customer to lie face down inside. They took the money and chains, smashed the front window and ran away.
At 6:15 p.m., four men -- two of them with walkie-talkies -- robbed Asian Food Inc. in the 5200 block of York Road.
The bandits beat and kicked an employee, then left him along with two co-workers and a customer tied up with bags over their heads in a walk-in freezer, police said.