Police probe possible robbery-burglary link

November 04, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Police are investigating a possible connection between a burglary at one Hagerstown liquor store and a robbery in which a clerk was pistol-whipped at another earlier this week.

Both incident occurred around midnight Tuesday, police said.

In the first incident, which occurred about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, a man pistol-whipped a clerk at Roxy Liquors on Frederick Street until he was bleeding. The assailant fled with an unknown amount of money from the cash register, police said.

Police are investigating whether the robbery was connected to a burglary at Halfway Liquors on Virginia Avenue, where a burglar alarm activated about 12:10 a.m. Maryland State Police found the front glass entrance door shattered and the cash register, containing a small amount of change and one bottle of liquor, stolen, according to Trooper 1st Class R.A. Plante.


A passerby reported the robbery at Roxy Liquors, Hagerstown Police Lt. Rick Johnson said.

Police did not identify the clerk, who is 65 years old. Johnson said the clerk was at Washington County Hospital Friday morning in good condition with severe lacerations on his ear and the side of his neck.

Police said two men entered Roxy Liquors shortly before midnight to buy a bottle of beer. As the clerk waited on them, a man with a bandana on his face and a gun came in and ordered everyone to get down on the floor.

The two customers buying beer left the store. The clerk laid on the floor. Police said the gunman then ordered the clerk into the back room, where the gunman beat him with the gun and tried to tie him up.

The gunman stole money from the register and ran away.

When police arrived, they saw the clerk standing behind the counter, covered in blood. Community Rescue Service tended to the man and took him to the hospital.

The gunman was described as a thin black man in his 20s or early 30s, 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2, with a soft voice. He was wearing a greenish-yellow bandana that covered his face, a black puffy coat and blue jeans. He appeared to have a semiautomatic handgun, police said.

Police also released a description of the two men who were in the store buying beer and witnessed the robbery.

One of the men was described as a thin black man in his late teens or early 20s, about 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9 and clean-shaven. He was wearing a light-colored baseball hat with a logo on it, a black puffy coat and blue jeans.

The other witness was describe as a thin black man in his late teens or early 20s, about 6 feet tall, clean-shaven, with a thin face. He was wearing a plain black baseball hat, a black puffy coat and blue jeans.

Police are also trying to find the person who called 911 to report the robbery.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Hagerstown Police at 301-790-3700, extension 234, and ask for either Detective Shane Blankenship or Detective Chris Kayser.

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