Anne Arundel County police were about to slap the handcuffs on James E. Williamson early yesterday when he heard an officer say on the police radio that he was "good for strong-arm robbery." Mr. Williamson bolted into the woods near the Baltimore line, police said.
Mr. Williamson, 29, of the 800 block of Old Annapolis Road in Severna Park was caught after a 20-minute chase by county and Baltimore police shortly after midnight.
A police dog found Mr. Williamson and bit him as officers caught up. He was charged with strong-arm robbery, and was taken to Harbor Hospital Center where he was treated and released, police said.
Mr. Williamson was charged with stealing cigarettes at a gas station in Pasadena and a 7-Eleven store in Glen Burnie. A clerk was beaten during the 7-Eleven robbery.
Mr. Williamson was being held without bail yesterday at the Detention Center.
County police pieced together the story of the robberies and the chase through interviews with Ron Carbough, the 7-Eleven clerk, and Norman Wesley Boston Jr., who has been charged as a accomplice.
Mr. Boston, 32, of the first block of Robinson Landing Road in Severna Park, told police he picked up Mr. Williamson on Earleigh Heights Road in Pasadena between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday and drove to a store parking lot at Mountain Road and Outing Avenue. He said Mr. Williamson walked to an Exxon station and returned with four cartons of cigarettes, police said.
Police had no further information on the incident at the gas station.
Afterward, Mr. Boston said, he drove Mr. William son to a 7-Eleven in the 7100 block of Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, police said.
Mr. Carbough, 29, told police that a man entered the store just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, walked around the counter and took two cartons of cigarettes.
When he confronted the man, Mr. Carbough told police, the man punched and kicked him, threw him into a display rack and fled.
Witnesses told police they saw the man run across the parking lot, jump into a white pickup truck with a ladder on it and flee.
Officers caught up with the truck at Hanover Street and Annabel Avenue in the Brooklyn section of Baltimore, police said. An officer asked the driver and the passenger for identification.
The officer then told Mr. Williamson to get out of the car, and as the officer was about to handcuff him, the suspect heard the message that sent him running for the woods, police said.
After they caught Mr. William son, police charged Mr. Boston with robbery, accessory to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Mr. Boston was being held on $10,000 bail at the county Detention Center yesterday.
Bail review hearings for Mr. Williamson and Mr. Boston had not been scheduled yesterday.