Two of three teen-agers who police said went on a robbery spree in Canton and Essex early yesterday were arrested after a witness followed their stolen minivan and kept police apprised of its every turn.
Police credited the arrests to the witness, whom they described as an avid gun collector and member of the National Rifle Association. He was sitting at the counter of a Dunkin Donuts in Essex when a man walked in and threatened a clerk with a semiautomatic handgun, police said.
"He recognized it as a powerful weapon," said Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey, who would not identify the type of gun but said the man's clear description will help officers, who have not recovered the weapon.
After getting an undisclosed amount of money, the gunman took off in a minivan, and the witness gave chase into the city, using a cellular phone to talk with police.
"He did it right," Toohey said of the witness, whom he would not identify. "He hung back. He didn't do any heroics. Very few people are going to have an opportunity to chase armed robbery suspects."
The blue Plymouth Voyager crashed into a light pole in the 2900 block of Orleans St. when officers tried to pull it over. Police captured two suspects. A third escaped and was being sought last night.
Davon Saunders, 15, of the 1800 block of Rayner Ave., and Antonio Green, 16, of the 800 block of Bethune Road were charged as adults with armed robbery, auto theft and handgun violations.
Police said the minivan had been stolen from the Cherry Hill neighborhood early yesterday.
About 5: 30 a.m., police said, the minivan was used in an armed robbery of a Royal Farm store at Fleet and Boston streets. Police said a suspect robbed a clerk of money and accidentally fired one shot into the floor.
About 30 minutes later, Baltimore County police reported the same van at a holdup of a Dunkin Donuts at Eastern Avenue and Stemmers Run Road in Essex. Police would not say whether they recovered the money.
The suspects were being held yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center awaiting a bail hearing.
Pub Date: 6/13/98