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Little more than a month after heightened security went into effect at Towson Town Center, four stores have been robbed a total of six times, presumably by the same gap-toothed man who appeared to have a gun, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

The robber hit two shoe stores, a watch store and a novelty shop since April 6, police said.

"He is picking stores that are close to entrances and staffed by only one employee," said mall general manager Chris Schardt. "Then he waits around for an opportunity, which is what criminals are: opportunists."

The robber is described as a black man, 25 to 30 years old, 6 feet tall, with a slim to medium build and a medium complexion. He has short black hair or short dread locks and is missing a front tooth.

Last month, 10 cameras were installed at the parking exits and entrances of the 200-store mall. Although the cameras monitor the comings and goings in the parking lots and garages, none has not captured the robber, Schardt said.

Also last month, a new county police substation was moved from the mall's basement to a storefront on Level One behind the escalator near the post office. It is a base for security officers as well as police officers who patrol the mall.

About 35 uniformed, armed, off-duty county police officers who are working part-time patrol the mall, said Schardt, in additional to unarmed mall security officers.

The stores robbed recently were: Watch Station, April 6 and April 17; Naturalizer Shoes, April 11; Bostonian Shoes, April 16 and April 20; and Country Accents, April 18, police said.

Although 1997 robbery statistics were not available last night, robberies at county malls are unusual, said police spokesman Bill Toohey.

Pub Date: 4/22/97

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