Two gunmen rob North East-area store
— Two gunmen remained on the loose Tuesday after robbing a market over the weekend, police reported.
The holdup occurred about 9 p.m. Saturday at the Alger Country Store in the 2800 block of Northeast Road (Route 272), which is north of North East, according to Lt. Jim DeCourcey, commander of the Maryland State Police Northern Region Criminal Enforcement Unit.
“The suspects came in, presented their handguns and demanded money from the clerk,” DeCourcey said, adding, “They (the suspects) opened the cash register themselves.”
After grabbing an undisclosed sum of money, the two bandits fled on foot, police reported.
The suspects are described as men in their late teens to mid-20s, dressed
in dark hooded jackets or sweatshirts and dark pants, according to DeCourcey, who noted, “They were pretty well covered up.”
Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7562587. Based on the results of the information given, tipsters are eligible to receive a reward up to $2,000.
As of Tuesday afternoon, MSP detectives still were trying to determine if the holdup at the Country Store on Saturday is related to a rash of armed robberies that occurred in the northern section of Cecil County earlier in May, police reported.
There are similarities between the Country Store armed robbery and what investigators have deemed an attempted holdup at 2:30 a.m. on May 21 at the Best Western hotel on Old Bayview Road near Cecil College, north of North East, according to DeCourcey.
In that incident, which was videotaped by surveillance cameras, the two suspects — one of whom was holding a silver or chrome handgun — approached the hotel, police said. However, the suspects fled after realizing that the lobby doors were locked, police added.
Since May 6, there have been five armed robberies at convenience stores and markets in Cecil County — all of the holdups were caught by surveillance cameras— and MSP and Cecil County Sheriff’s Office investigators believe they are related.
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.
A 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, according to DeCourcey, who noted that the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office is handling that investigation.
Then at 6 p.m. May 22, a day after the attempted robbery at the Best Western, a gunman entered the Fair Hill Citgo in the 4400 block of Telegraph Road, north of Elkton, brandished a “small caliber handgun” and demanded money, police said. He fled after an employee surrendered an undisclosed sum of money, police added.
On May 24, after receiving a tip, investigators arrested the alleged gunman in the Fair Hill Citgo armed robbery, identifying him as Christopher Lewis, 27, of Rising Sun, and they filed several felonies against him relating to that particular crime.
Investigators also have developed Lewis as a suspect in some of those other Cecil County armed robberies in May, as well as one that occurred at 7 p.m. May 17 at the Little Britain Store in Quarryville, Pa., police reported.
In addition, detectives believe that Lewis had an accomplice who possibly served as a getaway driver or lookout. That suspect had not been captured, as of Tuesday afternoon.
This surveillance photo shows the two armed suspects during the robbery at Alger Country Store, north of North East, on Saturday night.