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Baltimore Shomrim neighborhood patrol assists in carjacking arrest

A 16-year-old boy was charged as an adult Monday in the gunpoint carjacking of a 64-year-old man in Northwest Baltimore — an arrest city police credited to the help of Shomrim, an Orthodox Jewish community watch group.

Mikayal Hendris, of the 2600 block of Oswego Avenue in Greenspring, is charged with robbery and theft, police said. His charging documents were not posted to the state's online court records database as of Monday afternoon, and no phone number was listed for him.

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A second juvenile suspect, a 15-year-old boy, was taken to Juvenile Booking and Intake Facility. He was not named because he is not being charged as an adult.

The gun used in the carjacking was not recovered, police said.

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A resident in the Cheswold neighborhood called Shomrim about 11 p.m. Sunday to report seeing teenagers trespassing on neighbors' property, said Nathan D. Willner, the patrol group's spokesman and attorney.

About five or six Shomrim members responded and began to watch the teens as they walked in the direction of Reisterstown Road, he said. The area has had five carjackings in the past six weeks, Willner said.

While they were being watched, one of the them pulled open the front door of a white van in the 6200 block of Pearce Avenue, and forced the man out, Willner said. They got into the van and sped away, he said.

At least one Shomrim member went to check on the victim, who was rattled but uninjured, while others trailed the van, which the suspects eventually ditched and began to run, Willner said.

Councilman Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, who lives nearby, said he was on one of his weekly ride-alongs with a police officer Sunday night, and his patrol car was the first on the scene.

"They bailed out, jumped a fence and went toward Reisterstown Plaza," Schleifer said.

The patrol group pointed police toward the two suspects, who were arrested near the strip mall.

"It was fortuitous they were able to act as the eyes and ears of the police," Willner said.

Shomrim receives about 200 calls per month from community members for everything from stolen bicycles to suspicious activity, he said. Members do not actively patrol but respond when neighbors call, Willner said.

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