Holdup suspect held on $500,000 bail Man charged in restaurant robbery in Govans; 5 others remain at large.


A man charged in the weekend armed robbery of the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Govans was ordered held on $500,000 bail early today by a District Court commissioner, police said.

Accompanied by an attorney, Shantee Arthur, 18, of the 5300 block of Perring Parkway, surrendered about 4:30 p.m. yesterday at the Northern District, police said.

Police charged Arthur with 14 counts of armed robbery, 14 counts of aggravated assault, one count of using a handgun in the commission of a felony and one count of malicious destruction of property.

Five accomplices remain at large, police said.

A bail review hearing for Arthur was to be held later today in District Court, police said.

Police spokesman Dennis S. Hill said police obtained warrants for Arthur after he was identified by one of the victims in the robbery at the restaurant in the 5200 block of York Road.

Hill said the holdup did not involve the shotgun gang believed to be responsible for at least 24 of nearly 90 armed robberies in the city and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties since last October.

"They were copycats, pure and simple," Hill said.

The shotgun gang typically worked quickly and was violent but disciplined, usually striking victims who did not move fast enough but rarely firing weapons, Hill said.

Saturday's group, on the other hand, remained in the restaurant for about 10 minutes and fired shots as they fled, Hill said.

About 4:30 a.m. Saturday, six men entered the International House of Pancakes, brandished semiautomatic weapons and robbed 29 customers and employees, Hill said.

"They robbed each individual and one cash register," he said. They took about $1,500 from the restaurant and an unknown amount from the individuals.

As the gunmen left, they fired at least 13 shots into the walls and windows, which "caused everyone to get on the floor," Hill said.

The gang then drove away in a black car headed north on York Road, police said.

No one was injured in the incident.

"One of the people in the establishment recognized him [Arthur] and gave us his name," Hill said.

Police went to the home of Arthur's parents' yesterday and told them of the charges. The parents agreed to get him to surrender, police said.

In recent days, police think they may have taken a big chunk out of the nucleus of the shotgun gang. Last Wednesday, 13 men were in custody in connection with the rash of robberies.

Then Thursday, the gang suffered further losses in a bank robbery in Wilmington, Del.

In the Wilmington incident, Edward Spencer Punnett, 26, of Philadelphia, died after he was hit eight times in a shootout with police. Herbert Julian Pope, 26, was arrested in Philadelphia where he had fled in a taxi, police said.

William Francis, 20, of Hampton, Va., was wounded at least twice in the shootout and was discharged Saturday from Christiana Hospital in Delaware, a hospital spokeswoman said. Francis was in the custody of Wilmington police, Hill said.

Another suspect, Michael Montell Boston, 22, of Annapolis, is listed in serious condition at Christiana Hospital, the hospital spokeswoman said.

Boston also has been charged with participating in the March 7 robbery of the Employees State Credit Union in Towson, where four armed robbers fled with more than $36,000, Baltimore County police said. Another man took several credit union employees hostage before he surrendered, Baltimore County police said. No one was harmed in the incident, police said.

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