Man abducted from shopping center


Three men, one armed with a handgun, abducted a Lansdowne man from a Woodlawn area shopping center yesterday and robbed him of $85 before leaving him in the trunk of his car in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore County police said.

James Wesley Carter, 29, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in the Lake in the Woods Apartments was rescued from the trunk of his 1983 Pontiac when a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee heard him and notified police.

Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a police spokesman, said Mr. Carter suffered no apparent ill effects from the 12-hour ordeal.

The attack is the latest in a series of abductions that have occurred in the city and Baltimore County since four men were charged earlier this month with kidnapping three men from city parking garages and killing one of them. Police said they believed that this was a copycat crime.

The latest abduction began about 12:30 a.m. yesterday when the victim, who had been visiting relatives in the Woodlawn area, stopped at a pay telephone in the Security Shopping Center to call his wife, Sergeant Doarnberger said.

The sergeant said three men in a late-model dark blue Ford Escort pulled alongside the phone booth.

Two of the men, one brandishing a handgun, left the car and asked Mr. Carter if he had any cash, police said. When the man said he had no money, the two men forced him to drive his car to the rear of the shopping center, where he was patted down and robbed of $85.

The victim was then placed in the trunk of the car, police said.

Sergeant Doarnberger said the pair of assailants then drove around for several hours and made stops at a number of places.

The car was eventually abandoned in Druid Hill Park at Druid Park Drive and Greenspring Avenue with the victim still in the trunk, police said.

About 12:20 p.m. a utility employee who was about to have lunch in the area heard the victim tapping on the trunk, police said.

Police arrived and freed Mr. Carter from the trunk.

They have no suspects.

The gunman was described as 18 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and stocky with a fade haircut. The second man was said to also be about 18 years of age, thin and about 6 feet tall. No description was available for the third man.

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