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Police arrest several teens accused of at least 9 crimes in West County Charges include assaulting women


A two-month investigation by county police ended Friday with the arrest of several teen-agers who are accused of a variety of crimes in West County, including threatening witnesses, stealing cars and assaulting women.

Police said they believe the youths were members of a semi-organized group that allegedly is responsible for at least nine crimes in and around Pioneer City since March.

"They've been quite busy for the last couple of months," said Officer Terry Crowe, a county police spokesman, who said the group is not considered a gang. "It was loose knit. They all knew each other. They were friends who hung out together. They didn't organize very well."

Detectives said five additional assault and robbery cases are under investigation.

Five juveniles between 14 and 17 years old and one adult, William Joseph Johnson Jr., 18, have been charged. Four were arrested early Friday. Three more youths are being sought, police said.

Mr. Johnson of the 1800 block of Arwell Court, Severn, was charged with theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Police said they pieced together evidence and obtained arrest warrants to close the case.

"The detectives kept picking up individual's names and kept adding more to it," Officer Crowe said.

The alleged crime spree began March 26, police said, when four people were pulled from their car at a VFW Hall on Dorsey Road and beaten by youths who stole the car.

Two months later, police said, youths believed to be responsible for the car theft allegedly were searching for the victims at Old Mill High School in Glen Burnie to threaten them if they filed police reports.

Five days later, a victim from the VFW case was called at home and threatened with death, police said.

Other cases that the youths have been charged in include:

* The beating of two juveniles pulled from a car in Pioneer City on May 12.

* A man and a woman attacked by youths armed with baseball bats as they were driving on Arwell Court in Severn on March 26. Two teens, who also live on Arwell Court, were arrested Thursday in connection with the incident, police said.

* The sexual assault April 12 of two women as they were walking home in Pioneer City.

* The theft May 29 of a car from Severna Park that was recovered in Pioneer City after a hit-and-run-accident. The driver ran before police arrived.

The youths face charges that include robbery, assault, threatening witnesses, fourth-degree sexual offense, telephone misuse and trespassing on school property.

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