This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2012.
A Frederick man was arrested in connection with the armed robbery of an Advance Auto Parts store in Takoma Park, and four other individuals were arrested for various burglaries in the city and the surrounding area, according to Takoma Park police.
Steven Ray Williams, 42, was arrested Sept. 16 and charged with armed robbery, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, first- and second-degree assault, false imprisonment and theft over $1,000. Police believe Williams was among a group of more than two suspects who posed as customers in the Advanced Auto Parts store in the 6300 block of New Hampshire Avenue before taking money from the cash drawers on Sept. 16. The suspects also told the manager to open the safe and restrained a customer, an employee and a manager with flexi-cuffs.
Williams, who police say is also responsible for two other Advance Auto Parts robberies in Montgomery County, was arrested after police received tips about the suspects which led them to evidence tying Williams to the incident, police said.
Williams was being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center as of Wednesday.
Warrants have been issued for the other suspects, police said.
Takoma Park Police spokeswoman Catherine Plevy said police are “pretty sure” who the other suspects are.
Police also arrested Shamount Campbell, 22, of Takoma Park, Antwain Whitfield, 22, of Washington, D.C., and Matthew Starks, 24, of Hyattsville, and believe they had a role in at least five residential burglaries in Takoma Park as well as other burglaries in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Washington, D.C. Police say the residential burglaries and the robbery of the Advance Auto Parts is unrelated.
A warrant was served on Campbell for first-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property. Campbell was incarcerated in Clarksburg as of Sept. 26.
Police allege Campbell, Whitfield and Starks used stolen vehicles in several of the burglaries.
Police also arrested Chiquita Jenkins, 24, of Washington, D.C., for her alleged role in one burglary and believe she may have been involved in others, Plevy said.
“Chiquita Jenkins has never been directly and/or indirectly involved in any burglaries and this firm will aggressively defend her from any and all such allegations if the government does not decide to dismiss such charges against her,” Jenkins’ defense attorney Stephen F. Allen wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon.
Former Interim Police Chief Drew Tracy of Takoma Park, who called the recent incidents a “spree,” mentioned Campbell, Starks and Jenkins in the Sept. 18 city council meeting where residents expressed concern on behalf of their neighborhood.
No defense attorney was listed for Williams, Whitfield and Campbell as of Tuesday, according to online court records. Thomas Witkop, Starks’ public defender, said he had no comment on the case.
As of Tuesday, police were waiting for forensic evidence to be evaluated that could help identify suspects in other cases. Takoma Park police believe these individuals are responsible for other area burglaries as well.
Takoma Park police are working with Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and Metropolitan police in investigations of the burglaries.
Staff Writer Kara Rose contributed to this report.