Baltimore County Police reported four armed street robberies in over 20 days in January in the McDowell Lane area of Baltimore Highlands that they say could be related.
“We do believe that this is a trend of four related robberies in the Wilkens Precinct area,” police spokesman Shawn Vinson wrote in an email. “Based on the suspect descriptions, we believe that the same suspects are responsible for these robberies.”
In each incident, one to four men approached victims while wearing ski masks, and were armed with handguns. All of the robberies took place in Highland Village Townhomes complex or around Songbird Circle, a half-mile loop off McDowell Lane. They took place between Jan. 8 and Jan. 28, and between 4:30 p.m. and midnight.
Vinson said that there is no other information police “want to disclose right now.”
“The victims were at their vehicle or walking to their home when the suspects approached, displayed a weapon and took property,” police said on a “weekly crime trends” web page.
A fifth robbery involving four men in ski masks, two with firearms, took place in the 900 block of Niagara Court in Lansdowne; Vinson said police believe the Feb. 1 incident is related to the previous four.
In all of the five robberies, the assailants stole clothing, cash, cell phones and cigarettes. In at least two of the incidents, a victim was struck in the face with a gun.
Police also reported two home burglaries in Highland Village Townhomes in January. In one incident on Jan. 14, a television and cash were stolen; in another on Jan. 21, there were signs of forced entry but the resident did not know if anything had been taken.
Adaisha Boddie, who lives on McDowell Lane in Highland Village Townhomes, said although she had not heard about the armed robberies, she said, “I’m not shocked.”
“Over the years, [the complex has] just gone downhill,” said Boddie, who has lived in the Highland Village complex, owned by Westminster Management, for more than a decade.
The company, a subsidiary of the company owned by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has drawn headlines for its allegedly aggressive management practices and an investigation by Maryland’s Attorney General.
Highland Village Townhomes’ management did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Boddie said after hearing about break-ins in the area in recent years she no longer feels safe coming home late.
To respond to the string of crimes, police are stepping up enforcement, Vinson said.
“We are deploying additional resources to address this trend,” Vinson said.