Po­lice: Gun­man in re­cent rob­bery cap­tured

Sus­pected in rash of Md., Pa. rob­beries

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— In­ves­ti­ga­tors have cap­tured the al­leged gun­man in a string of Cecil County armed rob­beries this month, with the most re­cent one oc­cur­ring at a Fair Hill convenience store on Sun­day night — a day af­ter a failed holdup at a North East-area ho­tel, po­lice re­ported.

Mary­land State Po­lice de­tec­tives ar­rested the sus­pect, Christopher Lewis, 27, of Ris­ing Sun, on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to Lt. Jim DeCourcey, com­man­der of the agency’s North­ern Re­gion Crim­i­nal En­force­ment Unit.

As of Tues­day af­ter­noon, the sec­ond sus­pect in those armed rob­beries had not been iden­ti­fied.

De­tails of Lewis’ ar­rest were un­avail­able as of Tues­day af­ter­noon.

“He is in cus­tody. The war­rant for his ar­rest is for the Citgo armed rob­bery,” DeCourcey said, be­fore qual­i­fy­ing, “But we have ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion link­ing him to other cases. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.”

DeCourcey noted that the ar­rest of Lewis re­flects a “col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort

FAIR HILL

be­tween Mary­land State Po­lice, the Cecil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice,” all of which are han­dling one or more of the armed rob­bery in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The lat­est in the rash of armed rob­beries oc­curred at the Fair Hill Citgo in the 4400 block of Tele­graph Road (Route 273), north of Elk­ton, shortly be­fore 6 p.m. Sun­day, when a man now iden­ti­fied as Lewis al­legedly walked up to the check­out counter, bran­dished a “small cal­iber hand­gun” and de­manded money, po­lice said.

Af­ter the em­ployee sur­ren­dered an undis­closed sum of cash, po­lice added, the gun­man ran from the store.

At 2:30 a.m. Satur­day, some 40 hours ear­lier, two men — one of them was hold­ing a sil­ver or chrome hand­gun — walked to­ward the Best Western on Old Bayview Road near Cecil Col­lege, This surveil­lance photo shows a gun­man rob­bing the Fair Hill Citgo on Sun­day night. That sus­pect, now iden­ti­fied as Christopher Lewis, 27, of Ris­ing Sun, was cap­tured Tues­day, po­lice re­ported.

north of North East, with the ap­par­ent in­tent to rob the place, po­lice re­ported.

How­ever, the sus­pects fled af­ter re­al­iz­ing that the lobby doors were locked, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, who also re­ported that the men were wear­ing dark hooded sweat­shirts, dark pants, dark ski masks and gloves.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve that the duo in those two week­end in­ci­dents are re­spon­si­ble for three other armed rob­beries that also oc­curred in Cecil County this month, as well as one in south­ern Penn­syl­va­nia, ac­cord­ing to DeCourcey.

“We think they’re be­ing per­pe­trated by the same in­di­vid­u­als. All in­di­ca­tions are they are re­lated. There are too many co­in­ci­dences,” DeCourcey said Mon­day, re­fer­ring to the sus­pects in six rob­beryre­lated in­ci­dents dur­ing that 16day span.

De­tec­tives be­lieve the string of armed rob­beries started about 8:15 p.m. May 6, when a man bran­dish­ing a “snub-nosed re­volver” robbed the High’s Dairy Store in the 5600 block of Tele­graph Road (Route 273), near the Blue Ball Road in­ter­sec­tion, north of Elk­ton.

The sec­ond one oc­curred about 9:45 a.m. May 13 at the Dol­lar Gen­eral in Conowingo, where, once again, a gun­man de­manded money and then fled af­ter the cashier re­lin­quished an undis­closed sum of money.

At about 9 p.m. May 14 the sus­pects struck again, this time at the Pantry One in the 1800 block of Conowingo Road near Ris­ing Sun, Po­lice re­leased this photo of Christopher Lewis, 27, of Ris­ing Sun, on Tues­day, shortly af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors ar­rested him in con­nec­tion with Satur­day’s armed rob­bery at a Fair Hill store.

ac­cord­ing to DeCourcey, who noted that the Cecil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is han­dling that in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Then, in the most re­cent cases, the sus­pects resur­faced twice over the week­end — first at the Best Western on Satur­day morn­ing and then at the Fair Hill Citgo on Sun­day night.

De­tec­tives also be­lieve that the pair com­mit­ted an armed rob­bery about 7 p.m. May 17 at the Lit­tle Bri­tain Store in Quar­ryville, Pa., po­lice re­ported.

“We are work­ing closely with the Cecil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and the Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice,” DeCourcey said.

Store surveil­lance cam­eras video­taped the gun­man dur­ing the at­tempted armed rob­bery and some of the armed rob­beries, which, ac­cord­ing to po­lice, in­volved two sus­pects. As of Tues­day, de­tec­tives were still look­ing into the use of a get­away driver and, or, a look­out dur­ing those rob­beries, po­lice re­ported.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have cir­cu­lated pho­tos of the sus­pects in the rob­beries, in­clud­ing the gun­man be­lieved to be Lewis, and are ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion that might help in­ves­ti­ga­tors is asked to call Metro Crime Stop­pers at 1-866-756-2587. Based on the re­sults of the in­for­ma­tion given, tip­sters are el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive a re­ward up to $2,000.

Peo­ple with in­for­ma­tion also can call MSP’s North East bar­rack at 410-996-7800 or CCSO De­tec­tive Tyler Price at 410-392-2124.

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A real es­tate sign at the en­trance to Prin­ci­pio Busi­ness Park ad­ver­tises the avail­abil­ity of 1.2 mil­lion square feet.

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