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Former employee charged with robbing restaurant


An early-morning robbery at a Burger King turned into high-level farce yesterday after a man hid in the bathroom of a nearby Holiday Inn, put cash in a toilet, climbed into a suspended ceiling and fell through it into an adjacent office, police said.

The robbery was called in by employees of the Burger King in the 2000 block of York Road about 7 a.m., said Baltimore County Police spokeswoman Cpl. Vickie Warehime. Witnesses told police that a man had run to a Holiday Inn nearby and hidden in a bathroom in the lobby.

The officers called for tactical backup because the suspect implied that he had a weapon, Warehime said. When the tactical team was assembled in the lobby, they heard something moving over their heads.

"They heard a noise in the ceiling and then they heard a thud," Warehime said. "He fell through the office ceiling."

A few moments later, the office door opened slowly. A man peeked out and was taken into custody by officers without incident.

Arrested was Tauris Terril Watkins, 27, of the 2400 block of Woodbrook Ave., Baltimore, a former employee of the Burger King, police said.

Cpl. Bruce Aris, of the police communications division, said Watkins was charged with armed robbery, burglary, assault and destruction of property and was being held overnight at the Cockeysville Precinct on $100,000 bail, pending a bail review hearing today in District Court.

Warehime said the money was recovered -- and dried -- but declined to say how much was taken from the fast-food restaurant.

Pub Date: 12/30/98

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