Anne Arundel County police see spike in commerical robberies

Businesses along Ritchie highway are being hit left and right by robbers. Police say it's the highest number of commercial robberies they've seen in quite a while.

Business owners confirm the reports are becoming too common. One of the latest victims was the Pasadena Service Center.

They've boasted cheap gas and a full service auto center for four years. They were robbed for a second time Monday.

"The phone call was crazy because she's like Shannon! I've just been robbed! Come quick! Click," said Shannon Conway, a service center employee.

Bert Ashton, the owner of the service center said the shop is mostly a credit business that doesn't deal in much cash.

"And, you know, they got almost nothing," Ashton said. "And to take a chance on police catching them or being shot, or going to jail for 5-10 years for almost nothing, how silly is that?"

The robber was captured on the shop's surveillance cameras. Footage shows a note being passed to the cashier who employees say "unwillingly" handed over money from the register.

"She said she felt like chasing him and knocking him down," Ashton said. "I said, 'no don't do that. It's just a few dollars.' It's crazy it's so little. And she said, no ‘I'm going after him.' She chased him out of the parking lot."

The service center shares a parking with a local deli that was robbed a little more than a week earlier. But workers say with the recent spike in area robberies, they're not surprised.

"It's one of those things where it's a part of doing business anymore these days. You just have to make changes in operations so it doesn't happen as often," John Sparkman, the owner of the deli, said.

This week, Anne Arundel police stopped by businesses to hand out fliers and spread the word of the robberies.

The department has added more resources to help find the people who've robbed neighborhood spots like these.

Police say two robberies that happened within an hour of each other Monday evening are not related, but they say some of the earlier robberies could be connected.

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