- The Washington Times - Friday, March 31, 2006

The Montgomery County Police Department arrested a Suitland man and a District woman yesterday after a home-invasion robbery in Chevy Chase.

The robbery Monday was the first of three home invasions in the area this week, but police said they are not connected.

“We’re not going through any trend,” said Officer Derek Baliles, a police department spokesman.

Police arrested Harold Gene Short, 19, of the 5600 block of Vernon Way in Suitland, in the Chevy Chase robbery, which occurred just before midnight in the 3700 block of Underwood Drive.

Mr. Short is charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and use of a handgun in a violent felony.

Police also arrested Mr. Short’s girlfriend, Diayna N. Bennett, 20, of the 1700 block of D Street Southeast. She was charged as an accessory to armed robbery and first-degree burglary. Police do not think she was present during the robbery. Investigators are still looking for two or three additional suspects.

Police responded to a call at 9:45 p.m. about a burglary in progress in the 3800 block of Underwood Street. The caller said someone had broken a window and was still outside. When police arrived, they found that the man who had broken the window was the victim of the home-invasion robbery on the next block.

He had escaped after being held captive by several robbers who had forced their way into his home. The man, whose hands were still bound, told police that his wife and children were still being held inside the house. Seconds later, the wife came out of the house, her hands also bound. Officers went inside and freed the 2-year-old and 6-month-old children.

The robbers, however, had fled.

Police were led to Mr. Short after releasing a picture taken at an ATM of a man using the homeowners’ card.

The second case this week occurred Tuesday in Prince George’s County when three men entered a College Park Towers apartment off Knox Road through an open door just before midnight and robbed residents at gunpoint. No arrests have been made.

Late Wednesday night, an off-duty police officer in Anne Arundel County was checking a suspicious vehicle on the side of Muddy Creek Road in Harwood when the driver of the vehicle, a Cadillac, approached the officer and gave conflicting statements about having run out of gas. As the two were talking, a man drove up and told the officer he had just been robbed in his home.

The man identified the driver of the Cadillac as one of the men who broke into his house and tied up him and his girlfriend at gunpoint before stealing a shotgun, rifles and cash. The driver was arrested and identified as Calvin Lacharles Toler, 20, of the 3300 block of Seventh Street Southeast. He was charged with armed robbery, burglary, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and false imprisonment. Police are still searching for the second suspect, who was identified as William Anthony Williams, 21, of the 3500 block of 22nd Street Southeast.

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