19-year-old arrested for string of robberies in Howard County

WASHINGTON — Police have arrested a Howard County man for his role in a string of recent robberies in the county targeting older victims.

Howard County police said 19-year-old Zayah Abdul Alhassan is responsible for three robberies over the past month as well as one burglary. The Columbia, Maryland, resident was arrested June 1.

On May 14, police say a suspect followed an 82-year-old woman into the lobby of a Columbia apartment building and stole her purse from her shopping cart.

A little more than a week later, on May 22, a suspect stole a purse from a 69-year-old woman’s shoulder as she was exiting her vehicle in a nearby parking lot.

On May 30, a suspect approached another 69-year-old woman on a scooter, shoved her and stole her purse from her wrist.

All of the incidents happened in the 7000 block of Cradlerock Way in Columbia. None of the victims were injured during the incidents, police said Monday.

The officers assigned to the neighborhood conducted an investigation that identified Alhassan as the suspect, said police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. Police could not release any additional details about what led to his arrest, Llewellyn said.

Through their investigation, police were able to link Alhassan to a May 10 burglary of a residence in the 7100 block of Honeyladen Place.

Alhassan was arrested at his Columbia house and is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.

He is charged with him multiple counts of robbery, theft and second-degree assault for the May robberies; he is charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft in the burglary case.

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