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Man charged in robberies at two Jefferson Boulevard businesses

May 06, 2012

A Hagerstown man was charged in a pair of armed robberies along Jefferson Boulevard Saturday evening that occurred in a matter of minutes, according to Maryland State Police.

Mark Edward Ernst, no age given, was driving a vehicle that matched the description issued by emergency dispatchers — a green Chevrolet passenger vehicle occupied by one white male — about eight minutes after the second robbery, police said in a news release.

A man described as wearing camouflage shorts armed with a screwdriver demanded money from Phil and Jerry’s Meats and More at 22937 Jefferson Blvd. at about 7:08 p.m., police said. Another robbery was reported at the Robinwood Liberty gas station at 20505 Jefferson Blvd. seven minutes later, police said.

The distance between the two businesses is about 4 1/2 miles.

In the second robbery, a man took the entire cash register with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

A woman who answered the phone shortly after the reported robbery at Robinwood Liberty identified herself as the cashier. She said a white male in his 40s entered the store, struck her in the arm and stole the cash register. She was not injured.

A nearby resident saw the robber run out of the store and get into a vehicle, and was able to get the license number and report it to police, the woman said.

Authorities told her it was the same man who robbed Phil and Jerry’s, she said.

When police located Ernst’s vehicle at about 7:23 p.m. in the area of Dual Highway and Cleveland Avenue, it had a cash register on the floorboard in plain view, police said.

Ernst was charged with robbery, attempted armed robbery, first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, theft of more than $100 and malicious destruction of property, a trooper said Sunday.

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— C.J. Lovelace

Editor's note: The last name of the man charged in the robberies was corrected May 7, 2012.

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