Fells Point lauds arrest in robberies

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The arrest yesterday of a man police say is responsible for several armed robberies in Fells Point has merchants there breathing a little easier.

But the business owners say they won't feel totally at ease until a suspected accomplice is arrested.

They also want foot patrols reinstated in the area.

"Certainly it's good news that they caught someone, but I think that from the descriptions people were giving, it's more than one person," said Susan Singer, president of the Fells Point Business Association. "We still have a lot of concern about another suspect being out there, still at large."

Maj. Scott Williams, commander of the Southeastern District, said police have charged a man with two counts of robbery. Williams declined to identify the man, but said he is in his 30s and was arrested without incident about 3 a.m. yesterday on Poplar Grove Street, where his girlfriend lives. Williams said the man has been charged with robbing Crabby Dick's and Tugboat Annie's.

Williams said police are searching for an accomplice and that police are increasing their presence in the area, with uniformed and plainclothes officers.

Police are cautioning merchants to be more alert.

"We advise them to be more cognizant of their surroundings, who's coming in and out of their businesses and to keep an eye out for each other," Williams said.

Crabby Dick's owner John Buchheit said he is relieved that a suspect has been arrested.

"I have no fear of being in this neighborhood," said Buchheit, who lives above his restaurant and has been in Fells Point for 10 years. "There's good and bad people everywhere."

However, Buchheit joined Singer in calling for police to bring back foot patrols.

"Our taxes are going up, but our police presence is going down. We used to have mounted police," he said.

Returning foot-patrol officers to Fells Point was discussed yesterday morning at a meeting among Fells Point merchants and Williams.

"He said that ... in September they have a lot of people coming back, maybe some people on leave, and he'll look at his scheduling needs and see if they were able to provide us with foot patrol," Singer said.

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