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Men jailed on robbery charges

December 14, 2006

Two Hagerstown men were in jail Wednesday night on charges that they tried to rob at gunpoint the family of one of the men's friends.

Jason Erwin Bender, 29, and Joshua Boyd Cook, 30, both of 242 1/2 N. Locust St., are accused of participating in a home invasion robbery Nov. 28 in the 1200 block of Potomac Avenue.

Both face more than 20 charges, including burglary, armed robbery and first-degree assault, Washington County District Court documents show.

A charging document alleges Cook held a sawed-off shotgun as Bender entered the home with his hands up after knocking. Police allege Cook ordered the family to give him their money, while Bender watched.

A couple, including a man who is friends with Bender, and their two children, ages 4 years old and 9 months old, were home at the time of the incident, the charging document states.

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Cook is accused of grabbing a purse from a 4-year-old girl who was holding it for her mother. When he found nothing valuable inside the purse, Cook ordered the family outside, the charging document states.

Once outside, the male victim used a cell phone to call police. The suspects ran off in the same direction, the charging document states.

According to the charging document, the male victim confronted Bender a few weeks before the robbery about rumors that Bender intended to rob him.

Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies who arrested Bender Nov. 30 found him hiding in an attic and Cook hiding under bed covers, the charging documents states. A police source later told police the two were hiding because of what they had done to the Potomac Street victims.

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