A Baltimore man was arrested Wednesday on armed robbery charges after police linked him to Howard County hold-ups in 1988 and 1989, a police spokesman said.

Joseph Sheridan, 40, of the 2800 block of Maudlin Avenue, is being held at the Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bail. He is charged with two counts each of armed robbery and using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Sheridan is suspected of stealing more than $100,000 in cash fromthe Fulton Station Jewelers store on Dec. 6, 1988, and of robbing $4,800 from the Commercial and Farmers Bank in West Friendship on April5, 1989, said Sgt. Robert Adams.

The $4,800 in the bank robbery was immediately recovered when an explosive dye pack discharged and the thief dropped the money bag outside the building, police said.

State police arrested Sheridan on handgun violations Wednesday after atraffic stop in Baltimore city. Howard County detectives, who had received a tip from a citizen about the Fulton and West Friendship robberies, later questioned Sheridan about his alleged involvement in thecrimes, Adams said.

The robbery of the Fulton jewelry store, located in the 11000 block of Route 216, and the bank, located in the 12800 block of Route 144, were both committed by a man who threatened employees with a handgun, police said.


County police are investigating the reported kidnapping of a West Friendship woman Wednesday night.

The woman told police she was driving on Chatham Road near Chatham Garden Apartments in EllicottCity when she saw a man walking in the street shortly before 7:30 p.m., police said. The man motioned for her to pull over, she reported.

Police said the man then forced his way into the car, told the woman he had a knife, and threatened to kill her if she tried to get away.

The woman reported the man drove her to an area of Route 32 inClarksville and attempted to sexually assault her, police said. The woman struggled and was able to break free from the man, who ran awayafter taking her purse, police said. The purse contained a small amount of cash.


In response to aseries of recent break-ins and attempted break-ins in the Owen Brownvillage of Columbia, Howard County police have scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Owen Brown community center to offer residents tips on how to protect their homes.

Police are advising residents to keep their doors and windows locked in order to thwart the prowler, who has has broken into three homes and attempted to gain entrance to four others since May 8.

He also has gotten into physical struggles with some residents, police said. Thus far, the prowler has taken nothing from the homes.

Police describe the prowler as a whitemale approximately 20 years old, about 6 feet tall with a medium build and dark hair and dark eyes. He has typically tried to enter homeswhere doors or windows have been left unlocked, police said.

Anyone with any information about the prowler is asked to call police at 313-2266.


A compilation of some of the crimes reported to Howard County police:


9600 block White Acre Road: May 29,a prowler opened an unlocked window of a home at 2:40 a.m. but fled when a resident woke up after hearing a noise. Nothing was reported missing.

10100 block Windstream Dr.: May 28, a man reported that his wallet was stolen at 9 p.m. by a man armed with a handgun who approached him in a residential parking lot.

11200 Skilift Court: May 28, two people broke the rear porch window to a home at 10:10 a.m. butran off after being confronted by a resident.

11200 block Powder Run: May 28, a television, videocassette recorder, and a motion picture camera were reported stolen at 5 p.m. from a home that was enteredwhen someone forced open a window.

8700 block Columbia Road: May 24, a stereo was reported stolen at 4:30 p.m. from a home entered through an unlocked window.

Ellicott City

3100 block Normandy Woods Drive: May 27, several pieces of jewelry were reported stolen at 1 a.m. from an apartment.


9600 block Barrell House Road: May 28, a storage box containing jewelry was reported stolen at 11 p.m. from a home entered through an unlocked second-story window.

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