String of robberies not considered related, Kifer says

May 17, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

An attempted robbery was reported Tuesday morning on Saint Clair Street near North Hagerstown High School, the fifth such robbery reported in Hagerstown since Friday, Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Paul Kifer said.

"Nothing is leading me to believe that any of these are related," Kifer said.

He said the robberies - three actual robberies and two attempted robberies - have been reported in different parts of town and at different times of the day.

"Anytime we have any kind of robbery and robberies when weapons are displayed is a concern," Kifer said, adding that police worry the crimes could escalate into more serious offenses.

At about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, a man walking on Saint Clair Street was approached by two men, Kifer said. The man who was approached was then assaulted and the men went through his pockets, Kifer said. The two men - described only as one white man and one black man - ran south on Saint Clair Street.


The alleged victim did not require medical attention, Kifer said.

Other such robberies have occurred on South Burhans Boulevard, Frederick Street, Charles Street and downtown, he said.

Kifer said drugs often motivate these types of crimes, but said he has not seen any difference in drug activity in the city, other than a slight increase in heroin use.

He urges city residents to be cautious when they are walking down any street.

"If you're approached by someone who demands money and anytime you're approached by someone who has a weapon, the best thing to do is give them the money and let them go," he said.

Kifer said he would never advocate for someone to fight a robber, but added that everyone knows his or her own abilities.

"A lot of people become victims because they aren't paying attention to their surroundings," he said. "If someone who doesn't know you asks for money, think of an escape route. It's probably not going to be a good thing. Treat it like it's not a good thing."

Kifer encourages victims of such crimes to pay attention to the physical characteristics of the assailant, "pay attention to which way they leave, what car they get into."

But, he added, "I don't want anyone getting hurt trying to do more than they should."

Anyone with information about any of the recent robberies may call the Hagerstown Police Department at 301-790-3700.

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