A Hampden man is facing armed robbery, assault and theft charges after police say he robbed The Charmery with a shotgun and attempted to hold up a nearby 7-11 days later using a machete.
The first incident happened on Nov. 27. Police say their man, 25-year-old Brandon Winters, walked into the ice cream shop at the corner of W. 36th Street and Chestnut Avenue, carrying what appeared to be a shotgun, and stole $200 before fleeing on foot.
Reached by phone Tuesday, The Charmery co-owner David Alima declined to comment on the robbery, other than to praise police for how they handled the investigation.
Five days later, police say Winters appeared again at the 7-11 at the corner of W. 36th Street and Falls Road donning a ski mask, black trench coat and black gloves – and carrying a machete. According to police, he went in just before 5 a.m. on Dec. 2 and tried to jump the counter but was pushed out by a store employee. No one was injured, and he fled without a thing.
Investigators determined both incidents involved the same suspect, and on Sunday they obtained an arrest warrant for Winters, who lives on W. 36th Street across Falls Road, almost kitty-corner to the 7-11. Police took him into custody on Sunday.
According to court records, Winters is facing charges of robbery, armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, first-and second-degree assault, and theft of between $100 and $1,500. He’s being held without bail at Central Booking.
Public defender Sharon Cole, listed as Winters’ attorney, hasn’t responded to a request for comment sent to the Office of the Public Defender.
Such thefts are rare in the North Baltimore neighborhood, though they aren’t unheard of. The recent pair of incidents happened almost exactly one year after a man stole money from a cashier at MOM’s Organic Market at The Rotunda and fled in a cab. Less than two weeks later, someone burglarized Frazier’s on The Avenue after smashing the front door with a brick.
Just for perspective, Baltimore’s Northern District has recorded 668 robberies through the first 47 weeks of 2017, a 22-percent jump from last year and the fourth-highest number among Baltimore’s nine police districts.
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