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Armed robberies might be connected, police say

April 30, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Right after Freddie's Subs on Park Lane was robbed this month, office manager Jo Ann Sweeney locked the door and asked the female clerks to take a deep breath, relax and concentrate, Sweeney recalled.

The clerks did. Though shaken, they provided detailed descriptions of the three men that held them up, Sweeney said Friday.

"I was proud of them, personally," she said.

Hagerstown Police are looking for the robbers and investigating whether they also robbed a fast-food restaurant four days later. Both robberies were during daylight hours.

Police said Friday they will give a $500 reward for information leading to the robbers' arrest and conviction. Tipsters may call police at 301-790-3700, ext. 234.

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Freddie's was robbed on April 20 about 3 p.m.

Sweeney said the robbers bought Gatorade and waited outside until other customers left. When they returned, one man ordered a steak and cheese sandwich and paid for it. As a clerk opened the cash register, another man pulled out a gun, Sweeney said.

McDonald's on East Washington Street was robbed on Sunday about 7 p.m. Again, one of the three robbers had a handgun.

Sgt. Paul Kifer said the descriptions of the Freddie's robbers are close to the descriptions of the McDonald's robbers, but not exact.

For witnesses, ages and weights vary the most, Kifer said.

Even though the Freddie's robbers were said to be in their teens or early 20s and the McDonald's robbers were said to be in their 30s, police can't say they're different people, Kifer said.

The Freddie's robbers also were described as:

n A black man, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 190 pounds, stocky, light complexion, short afro, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.

n A black man, 6 feet tall, thin build, medium complexion, short afro, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt with black underneath.

n A black man, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 150 pounds, medium complexion, short afro with waves, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.

At the time, the Freddie's clerks also recalled that the tallest man had "academic" written on the left leg of his pants, police said.

The McDonald's robbers also were described as:

n A black man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, medium build, dark complexion, wearing a brown baseball hat and a brown multicolored leather coat.

n A black man, 5 feet 10 inches tall, dark complexion, wearing a black baseball hat and a royal blue jacket.

n A black man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, medium build, dark complexion, wearing a black baseball hat and a white "do-rag."

Hagerstown Police haven't offered many crime-tip rewards, but might do so more often, Kifer said.

Reward offers can be both good and bad. Money might motivate a witness to speak out, but also might lead to false tips, Kifer said.

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