- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baltimore County police are investigating whether two sweet-toothed teenagers arrested in the theft of cookies from a Towson, Md., bakery are the same sticky fingers who lifted 24 pounds of cookies from the same place days earlier.

Two 16-year-olds from Towson were caught by police at about 1:45 a.m. Monday after they were spotted by a security officer at the Towson Town Center jumping over the counter at the Great Cookie company, police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said Wednesday. The young men and a third suspect fled, but police could only catch the two teens.

The arrests came just 48 hours after two people were caught on camera jumping over the same counter at the cookie store and making off with 24 pounds of cookies — 12 pounds of chocolate chip and 12 pounds of snickerdoodles.

“It’s a quirky crime,” Ms. Armacost said. “But it is a crime, and we’re looking for whoever stole the cookies.”

The first robbery happened at about the same hour Saturday night, but the store’s employees did not realize the theft had occurred until a surveillance tape was reviewed.

In the case of the two teens, Ms. Armacost said it “looks like they did steal some cookies, but it does not appear as though there were as many cookies taken in the [Saturday] incident.”

Ms. Armacost said police don’t think the young men are the same suspects, but “obviously we’re looking to see if there’s some connection.”

For his part, Great Cookie owner Jason Fruman said all he can do is laugh.

“It’s funny,” he said of the second robbery. “They could have taken anything from any store in the mall. Snickerdoodles were all they took.”

The bakery offers a range of cookies and brownies, but its claim to fame is the snickerdoodles; a three-pound tin sells for nearly $60 on the company’s website.

The Great Cookie began with one store in 1979 and has grown to include seven stores in Maryland and two food trucks, Mr. Fruman said.

“We’re an institution,” he added.

The Great Cookie sells thousands of cookies from its store locations and via online orders, Mr. Fruman said, so there’s rarely any stock at the end of the day.

If there’s anything left over, it’s sold the following morning, and Mr. Fruman said the hundreds of cookies stolen earlier this week were actually destined for a charitable donation.

“We hit different shelters here and there,” he said, adding that the robbery would not set the store back on its mission.

“It’s just a couple cookies,” Mr. Fruman said. “We sell thousands of cookies a day. A couple cookies means nothing.”

Ms. Armacost said there have been no other recent thefts involving food vendors at the shopping center, and Mr. Fruman said the twin robberies were the first time the company has been targeted.

But while the thefts were unprecedented, Mr. Fruman said he could understand why his product might be targeted.

“I have some damn good cookies,” he said with a laugh. “We have a lot of fans, but they usually pay at the counter.”

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