Lansdowne Man Arrested After String of Attempted Robberies at Catonsville Convenience Stores

… Stephen Hughes faces theft and robbery charges …

By Brian Conlin,

1:57 PM EST, November 29, 2011

Police arrested a Lansdowne man in the attempted robberies of five Catonsville convenience stores in less than 24 hours, according to Baltimore County police.

Police said Stephen James Hughes, of the 500 block of Fifth Avenue, attempted to rob three 7-Eleven stores and two Royal Farms stores on Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue last week.

His first attempt came at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, police said.

Hughes, police said, successfully obtained money in only two instances.

He faces theft, armed robbery and five counts of robbery charges.

The string of robberies began when a man matching Hughes’ description walked into the Royal Farms at 504 Edmondson Ave., asked a cashier for help and handed her a note demanding money, police said.

The man told the cashier that he had a gun and would use it if she didn’t cooperate, police said.

An undisclosed amount of cash and a soda were stolen, police said.

The next day at 7:55 a.m. at the 7-Eleven at 1611 Edmondson Ave., Hughes squeezed the buttocks of the store clerk and used a note to demand money, police said.

During the robbery, the man kept his right hand in his pocket in a manner implying he had a gun, police said.

He fled with an undisclosed amount of with cash.

At 12:20 p.m. that same day, police said, Hughes entered the 7-Eleven at 403 Frederick Road and demanded money. He left with nothing after the clerk said no.

Police said Hughes struck again 15 minutes later at the Royal Farms at 504 Edmondson Ave.

He handed the clerk a note but again left empty-handed in a Baltimore County taxi after being startled, according to the police report.

The final incident occurred about five minutes later at the 7-Eleven at 6350 Frederick Road, police said.

This time, Hughes was recognized before a robbery took place, police said.

“We were in the area looking for him,” said Det. Cathy Batton, a spokeswoman for the police. “Business owners were reaching out to each other and police.”

Batton noted that police had obtained a warrant for Hughes’ arrest before the string of robberies on Nov. 22.

Hughes was arrested on Frederick Road in front of the store and is being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center without bail as of Nov. 28, Batton said.

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