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Columbia man is charged in two holdups


Howard County police have charged a 25-year-old Columbia man with the armed robbery of two convenience stores in the county in March and April.

Corey Demetrius Harriel of the 9300 block of Reader Lane in Columbia's Oakland Mills village was being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $275,000 bond after a bail review hearing in District Court on Friday.

His charges include robbery with a deadly weapon, theft and handgun violations.

Police said an informant told them that Mr. Harriel had bragged about robbing a store April 20 with another man. Police got that man's fingerprint from a pack of sunflower seeds left behind, court records say.

According to police charging documents, the suspect entered a Royal Farm store in the 4200 block of Montgomery Road at 3 a.m. He approached a clerk at a meat cutting machine and told the store worker he would shoot him if he did not hand him cash from the register.

When the clerk turned over $115 in cash, police said, the robber ran from the store with another man to a nearby church parking lot. A woman drove the two to Baltimore to buy drugs, records say.

Just a month earlier, police almost arrested Mr. Harriel on charges of robbing another Royal Farm store in the 5800 block of Stevens Forest Road. In that case, police said Mr. Harriel swapped clothes with one of two friends after robbing the store of $100 in cash.

An officer stopped the three on a bike path. When another officer brought the store clerk to the spot to identify the robber, the clerk became confused when he saw another man wearing Mr. Harriel's black jacket.

Police let the men go.

Police said their investigation may lead to arrests of others.

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