The investigation into a breakfast-time armed robbery of a fast-food restaurant led officers yesterday to the Baltimore police academy, where, authorities said, a department trainee was arrested.
Aaron Victor Seivers - who had been in field training, with a gun and badge, after joining the force this year - is accused of driving the getaway car in the robbery of a Baltimore County McDonald's last month, county police said.
Seivers, 28, was fired yesterday, a city police spokesman said.
He was arrested after two restaurant employees tailed a BMW from the robbery scene and, according to court records, gave police a tag number that was linked to him.
Seivers is charged in the Oct. 28 robbery of the McDonald's in the 2100 block of E. Joppa Road in the Carney area. A man entered the restaurant about 6:30 a.m. that day, showed a semiautomatic handgun and ordered the employees into an office, court records show. The man forced a manager to give him $1,200 in cash from the safe, which he carried off "calmly" in a plastic bag, according to the records.
Two employees followed the man and watched him climb into the passenger side of a silver-colored BMW parked at a nearby apartment complex and recline the seat so that he was out of view. When the BMW left, the employees got into a car and followed it, according to the documents.
In light Sunday morning traffic, the driver of the BMW soon appeared to realize that he was being followed and began "frantically looking in his rearview mirrors" and driving at speeds nearing 90 mph, according to court records.
When the BMW stopped at an intersection, the employees pulled up next to it, looked at the driver and saw that the passenger's seat was still lowered. The employees then returned to the restaurant and gave police the tag number of the getaway car, according to court records.
Baltimore County police traced the tag number to Seivers, who they learned through a records check was a city police trainee, records show. Within hours of the robbery, they drove to the Southern District precinct station in Baltimore and saw a BMW with matching tags parked there, according to the court documents.
The officers questioned Seivers, who had been scheduled to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. They noted that he did not match the description of the man who held up the restaurant, who witnesses said had a tattooed neck, cornrows and a pierced ear.
When the officers said that they thought his car had been used in a crime, Seivers became "hostile" and told the officers conflicting stories about his actions that morning, according to court records.
At one point, he said that two people, whose descriptions matched those of the McDonald's employees, followed him, adding that "because he was the police he could drive as fast as he wanted down the city streets," according to the documents.
He also said that he had spent the night at his girlfriend's apartment. When officers traced her address, they learned that she lived in the 8900 block of Waltham Woods Road, the place the restaurant employees had seen the BMW leave, according to court documents.
When city police officials first learned of the investigation last month, they suspended Seivers and placed him on administrative duty at the city police academy, said Nicole Monroe, a department spokeswoman.
Seivers, of the first block of Holcumb Court in Middle River, was arrested yesterday morning at the police academy, county police said.
After his arrest, Seivers was questioned at county police headquarters and taken before a court commissioner. He was charged with being an accessory after the fact to the crime. He was being held last night at the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail.
County police have not identified the other suspect in the robbery, spokesman Bill Toohey said.
Seivers joined the city force Jan. 29 and had been in field training in the Southern District, which means that although he had a badge and a gun, he generally was accompanied by a veteran officer, Monroe said.
If Seivers is cleared of the charges, he can apply for reinstatement to the Police Department, said Sterling Clifford, another department spokesman.
Sun reporter Gus G. Sentementes contributed to this article.