Police in Montgomery County, Md., have arrested three suspects — ages 21, 17, and 15 — in connection with a brazen gun store break-in that now has been linked to a similar heist 24 hours earlier in neighboring Howard County, officials said Friday.
In both cases, intruders used a vehicle to ram into a store in the middle of the night. At least 10 stolen guns have not been accounted for, police said.
In the first burglary at 2 a.m. Wednesday, thieves took weapons from Fox’s Firearms in the Laurel area of Howard County.
The burglary the next night turned fatal.
At 2:35 a.m. Thursday, four thieves rammed an SUV into the United Gun Shop in the Rockville-North Bethesda area of Montgomery, triggering a 911 call. A getaway car with what police had said was a fifth person was in the parking lot. A patrol officer arrived four minutes later, according to authorities, and spotted the getaway car accelerating toward him.
The officer got out and away from his car before it was struck by the thieves’ car, police said. “During the encounter, the officer discharged his service weapon,” officials said Friday.
One man in the getaway car was fatally shot as it continued from the lot and traveled a short distance before it became disabled, police said. The remaining four bailed and ran, abandoning the man shot, officials said.
On Friday, officials identified the man shot as Marquis Weems, 17, of Anne Arundel County. The patrol officer who fired, John Gloss, is a 20-year veteran who has been placed on administrative leave pending a review of the incident.
Terrence Massey Jr., 21, and Brandon Allen Jackson, 17, both of Anne Arundel County, were arrested in the Rockville case. Jackson has been charged as an adult, police said. A 15-year-who was arrested was charged as a juvenile and not named publicly, police said.
Online court records show that Massey was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary; second-degree burglary; and a firearms charge. Jackson is accused of the same offenses, and an added charge of being a minor in position of a firearm, according to court records.
Because juvenile cases are not public, it was not clear what counts the 15-year-old faces.
Officials did not release details of how the arrests came together or what links the two burglaries, but asked for help in identifying additional suspects.
Montgomery detectives working with investigators from Howard County and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “have now linked the burglary in Rockville to the Fox’s Firearms gun store burglary in Howard County,” Montgomery officials said, adding that police in Howard “anticipate filing similar charges in the near future.”
In the Howard County burglary on Scaggsville Road, thieves stole 19 guns, according to county police.
Montgomery county police statements Friday said a total 17 guns had been recovered but were unclear about how many of those came from each store.
The owner of the Howard store, Chad Fox, said he opened the location last year after operating for about five years in Columbia. He said he’d never been broken into, but recognized there was a risk.
“It’s just one of those things,” he said. “It’s the nature of the business. We’re a little higher risk for break-ins than other business.”