Police say two armed robberies in Bowie over the weekend – both involving men carrying a rifle or shotgun who confronted groups of teenagers – may be related.
"There are some signs that they may be connected," Police Chief John Nesky told the Capital-Gazette newspaper. He urged residents confronted by robbers to turn over their property to avoid injury.
Officers were called to a home about 3:20 a.m. Sunday in the 15400 block of Empress Way. An 18-year-old Bowie man suffering from a head wound had knocked on the door seeking help after being robbed by two men while walking from the 7-Eleven on Crain Highway.
One of the suspects had a rifle or shotgun, pushed the victim to the ground and then hit him in the head and body. The robbers ordered the victim to empty his pockets, took his property and fled.
The victim was treated at Bowie Health Center for minor injuries.
A similar robbery happened Friday night on Nottinghill Drive near Noblewood Lane, the newspaper reports.
Police said the teenagers, three boys and three girls ages 13 to 16, were walking about 11:30 p.m. when they were confronted by two men, one armed with a rifle and the other carrying two semi-automatic pistols.
The teens said one of the gunmen told them, “I swear if you run, I’ll shoot,” prompting the group to flee. Four of the teens called police from the 15400 block of Neman Court. Once officers arrived, they searched the area and found another member of the group at the Bowie Town Center.
He told police he was caught by the robbers near Spring Lake Park, where they stole his cell phone and ran away.
In Sunday's robbery, the victim described his attackers as black men, each about 6-foot, two-inches tall. One was wearing a black hoodie, the other had a gray one.
The victims in Friday’s attack also described their assailants as black. But they could only describe them as men in their 20s who both wore dark clothing and masks.