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Archive for Friday, September 12, 1997

CRIME SPREE ENDS QUICKLY

September 12, 1997

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Police nabbed a carload of Kansas City, Mo., residents on their way out of Lawrence Thursday morning, bringing a crime spree to a halt.

Four Kansas City, Mo., residents -- two of them juveniles -- allegedly went on a mini crime spree Thursday morning, which ended in their arrests after a Kwik Shop was robbed at gunpoint.

Fewer than 10 minutes after the convenience store robbery was reported by the clerk, a Lawrence police officer had stopped the suspects' car about two miles away, heading east out of town.

Thomas Frederick Washington Jr., 19, was booked into Douglas County Jail on five counts of aggravated robbery. Michael Anthony Dolman, 18, was booked into the jail on three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery. Information on the juveniles, ages 16 and 17, weren't available Thursday, but a police official said the charges likely would be similar.

Police say the suspects' journey began at 2:05 a.m. at 10th and Connecticut, where two of them approached an unidentified 45-year-old Lawrence man. Although the man told police one of the suspects had an object in his hand, he said he didn't know if it was a weapon.

Sgt. Susan Hadl said the suspects told the man to "hold it," but he began running. The two men didn't pursue him.

Instead, the two men apparently moved less than a block away to the 300 block of West 10th, where they accosted three Lawrence residents at 2:07 a.m.

The suspects demanded a wallet from a 23-year-old male in the group, knocked him down and began ripping it from his pants pocket. Hadl said the other suspect held the 23-year-old down to take the wallet, but it was attached to his pants with a chain.

One of the men then pointed a gun at the two other Lawrence residents -- a 27-year-old male and a 25-year-old female -- and took a wallet and purse from them.

The men then ran off, and the victims told police they didn't see them get into a car.

About 10 minutes later, a car pulled up in front of the Kwik Shop, 1714 W. 23rd. Three males got out and entered the store. Hadl said one of the men asked the 22-year-old male clerk to change a $20 bill.

When the clerk turned around, the man was pointing a gun at him and ordered the clerk to empty the register. Hadl said the clerk then was forced to the back of the store.

The suspects left, and the clerk called police but didn't have a description of the vehicle.

"Moments after we receive the call, an officer at 23rd and Harper sees a car fly down the road," Hadl said. "The investigation, interviews and evidence showed they were responsible for all three robberies."

A handgun was recovered from the 1989 Chevrolet Corsica. No one was injured in the three robberies.

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