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Police Observed Suspect Drop Gun Before Alleged Robbery Near Mall

Two suspects were arrested after police allegedly saw them robbing a man in the Columbia Mall parking lot.

 

Two Howard County Police officers watched a suspect drop a handgun, pick it up, then allegedly rob a man, while an accomplice acted as a lookout in a parking lot near the last week, according to a police report.

Immediately after the robbery, both men were arrested by the officers.

According to the report, Odell Kareme Copeland, 31, and Pierre Antwan Booth, 28, were observed by two police officers in a parking lot in front of Union Jacks near the mall around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 6. The officers wrote they were stationed in a nearby parking garage.

As the two men walked toward another man, who was standing near his driver's side door, the officers watched Booth pull a black handgun out of his waistband, fumble it and drop it onto the ground in front of him, according to the report.

Booth then picked the handgun up and continued with Copeland toward the man standing at his car, wrote police. As Copeland kept lookout, the officers watched as Booth allegedly forced the man into his vehicle, pointing the gun at him, according to the report.

Soon after, Copeland and Booth walked away from the man and that's when the officers responded, pulling up to the suspects and ordering them to the ground, according to the report. Both men were then placed under arrest.

Police recovered a .40 caliber high point semi autmoatic handgun next to a car where Booth was arrested, according to the report.

After interviewing the victim, the officers determined Booth had allegedly pointed the gun at the man's head and stole a pack of cigarettes, car keys, $75 and a cell phone from him, which police recovered, according to the report.

Booth, of the 9500 block of Oak Trace Way in Randallstown, and Copeland, of the 5200 block of Eliots Oak Road in Columbia, were both charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, theft of less than $1,000, robbery and the use of a firearm in a violent crime. Booth was also charged with possesion of a handgun, concealing a dangerous weapon and possesion of a handgun with a felony conviction.

Copeland's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m, Booth's is scheduled for Oct 10 at 1:15 p.m.

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Greg G. September 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM
"the officers watched Booth pull a black handgun ". WHAT? If this man was shot then what? Why were they watching a man be robbed by gunpoint and then act? If the guy even fumbled again and the gun went off a .40 caliber would have decimated anything it hit.I certainly hope there is more to this then they are stating otherwise criminal charges should be filed against the officers for failing to prevent the crime. My father as a police officer of over 40 years used to say, "My job is to prevent crime, not catch crime. If I have to catch a criminal I have failed to do my job".
Robert Rey September 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Wow. Again, I say please be careful when going to this mall. Be alert at all times. Malls are havens for trouble. These guys are nothing but thugs.
Jessica September 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Why? Seriously what is wrong with people? I am uncomfortable knowing that these idiots live in Columbia.
Jessica September 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I couldn't agree with you more Greg! I thought it was pretty interesting that they watched the crime go down before acting...
Cola MD September 12, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Anybody see a possible connection here? http://columbia.patch.com/articles/armed-robbery-on-eliots-oak-road-howard-county-crime-roundup I'll give you a clue: location, location, location...
Alice B September 12, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Most likely the officers waited in order to avoid escalating the event into a hostage situation and thereby increasing the danger to the victim. How about some appreciation for the officers who risked their lives to apprehend armed criminals?
Jack M September 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
The officers were on the top level of the parking garage, looking down at the crime, directing other officers into the scene. That's why they didn't immediately respond. The suspects would have been long gone by thew time they could reach them.
ColumbiaSnob September 13, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Greg, read the charging documents or the article at Explore Howard through the Baltimore Sun's home page. The author (for this article) paints the picture that its two uniformed cops at the mall sitting on their thumbs as a robbery takes place. The officers were on top of a parking garage conducting surveillance. Hmmmmmm. Maybe they could have taken a shot from up there....far away...with their pistols. Stop watching so many movies and/or listening to your daddy's stories.
anon September 16, 2012 at 03:17 AM
It is so sad that I have to be scared to go out at night in Howard County.
Ray September 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I just feel sad for those low-level criminals and victims they hurt, waving a gun, even hurt/kill people, most of the time just getting couple of bucks, a used phone or even less. And most of them got caught when using the victim's card to withdraw cash or purchase, while widely exposing their faces. Even when committing crimes, they had to do it in a such retarded way. Some times I just hope there is a firearm control of some sort, at least victims would get shot just for a couple of bucks by those stupid criminals.
Greg G. September 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Columbia snob not going to even debate you as you can't have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent . If you buy into that crap I have a bridge to sell you. TWO cops observed this. One could have held back, directed others and the other officer start moving forward in case it did escalate. This way at least one of them could have intervened. You obviously no nothing about tactics and police procedures. i studied criminal justice and have worked in hostage negotiations. On more than several occasions Howard County Police have improperly handled a situation like this. If the person was injured or shot they both would be under suspension.

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