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Robberies of two taxi drivers believed to be linked

March 18, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Two drivers for a Hagerstown taxi company were robbed Sunday night in their cars in the 400 block of Park Place, and police said they believe the same two men committed both robberies.

The first robbery occurred at about 10:30 p.m., Hagerstown City Police detectives said.

A driver for Miller Transportation went to a call at the Noland Village complex on Noland Drive, where she picked up two men, police said.

When the driver was about to drop the men off on Park Place, one of them began choking her while the other went through her pockets, taking less than $50 in cash, Detective Shane Blankenship said.

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Denise Miller, co-owner of Miller Transportation, said her drivers have never had problems in that neighborhood before, although at least one driver was robbed previously.

"It was a surprise because that address they were picked up at (Sunday) rides with us all the time," she said.

Police said one man was described as being black, with "very large teeth," smoked cigars and had trouble breathing. The other man also was described as black, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds with a stocky build. Police said he was wearing white or cream clothing that might have been a matching outfit.

The second robbery took place at 11:57 p.m. This time another driver and his sister, also a driver for Miller, were riding together when they responded to a call in the 400 block of Park Place.

The two men asked to be taken to the Sheetz store on Potomac Avenue then back to Noland Drive. But when they arrived at Sheetz, they told the driver to take them back to Park Place instead, police said.

When the driver stopped on Park Place at Charles Street, one of the passengers pulled a knife, put it to the driver's throat and demanded money, Blankenship said.

The driver broke free and began running , but the two men chased him down. They scuffled, and the driver ended up giving up less than $50 in cash, Blankenship said.

In that robbery, one of the robbers was described as being in his late teens or early 20s, between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds and wearing a black Nike shirt and black silky pants, police said.

The second man was described as being in his late teens or early 20s, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, police said. He was wearing a black winter hat or a rolled-up ski mask and a gray long-sleeved shirt and black pants.

Lt. Rick Johnson said none of the victims required treatment. He said there did not appear to be any other robberies connected to the two Sunday night.

Police ask that anyone with information about the robberies call investigators at 301-790-3700, ext. 234, or call Blankenship directly at ext. 246.

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