Germantown man charged with string of robberies in Montgomery County -- Gazette.Net







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Montgomery County Detectives have arrested a Germantown man who they say was behind a string of robberies around the county.

Duane James, 52, of Mustard Seed Court, faces charges in 12 robberies since Dec. 27.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Feb. 17, police say that James tried to rob two separate stores in Gaithersburg.

James tried to rob a Chinese Express on Russell Avenue first, and then an Exxon gas station on Montgomery Village Avenue, police say. At the Chinese Express, James entered the restaurant, brandished a handgun and demanded cash, according to a police release announcing his arrest. James fled after he was unable to obtain any money, according to the release.

A few minutes later, James, wearing a black ski mask and a black and gray jacket, held up the Exxon, taking cash and cigarettes before he fled, according to the release.

Shortly thereafter, a 6th District officer stopped a vehicle which failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Christopher Avenue and Hellingly Place, and realized the driver matched the suspect description for the robberies, according to the release.

Police arrested James based off surveillance video obtained from the robbery locations. Police said they found the handgun he used in the robberies inside the vehicle.

Detectives believe James was also responsible for eight commercial robberies, including stores in Wheaton, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Rockville over the last two months.

Police have charged James with two counts of armed robbery for the Chinese Express and the Exxon robberies along with charges relating to the handgun he used in the alleged crimes. Following his arrest, detectives charged James with an additional nine armed robbery charges and three first-degree assault charges, according to the release.

Montgomery County detectives also charged him with an armed robbery of a victim at the Glenmont Metro station Jan. 13 and an armed robbery of a victim Feb. 10 at the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center.

James is currently being held without bond in the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Attorney information for James was not yet available in online court records as of Wednesday afternoon.