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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: robbery

With the help of alert citizens, police caught an armed robbery suspect three minutes after they were dispatched to an armed robbery call at a Parkville convenience store.

Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday night, a suspect wearing a black sweatshirt and holding a knife approached a cashier at the 8 Days a Week store in the 1700 block of Taylor Avenue 21234. The suspect pointed a knife at the cashier and demanded money. He took cash and then ran from the store.

What the suspect did not know was that people in the community were watching him.

When police arrived on the scene, witnesses pointed them in the direction of the suspect. One witness told police that the suspect had taken his sweatshirt off. Officers found the suspect in the backyard of a home in the 8100 block of Oakleigh Road. He had a black hoodie in one hand and cash in the other. Officers also recovered a small knife.

The suspect has been identified as 42-year-old George William Phillips of the 7600 block of Hillendale Road 21234. He has been charged with armed robbery and first degree assault and is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Captain Jay Landsman, the commander of Precinct 6, stated that this case is "an excellent example of cooperation between the community and the police department. Witnesses provided real-time information on the suspects direction of travel and his description. Criminals do not stand a chance when the community and the police work together."

Citizens are reminded that they can help police keep their neighborhoods safe by reporting suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity. People can call their local precinct or Baltimore County communications at 410-887-2222. Persons calling police to report suspicious activity do not have to give their names.

Booking photograph of George William Phillips

The Baltimore County Police Department's Franklin Precinct is trying to identify a man connected to an ongoing investigation into an armed robbery that occurred June 16 in the Owings Mills area.

Police want to talk to this person to see what information he can provide. At the time of this incident, the man would have operated an older model, gold Mercedes Benz similar to the one in the photograph shown below.

Please contact police at 410-307-2020 if you have information about this person or this investigation.

Photo of armed robbery suspect in Owings Mills

Photo of armed robbery suspect in Owings Mills.










Photo of similar gold Mercedes Benz used by armed robbery suspect

Photo of similar gold Mercedes Benz used by armed robbery suspect.

Officer Joseph HardenA 10-year BCoPD veteran was charged late Thursday with attempted robbery and other crimes following a drug-related incident in Dundalk earlier this week.

Officer First Class Joseph Stanley Harden, 31, of the 700 block of York Road, 21204, has been released on $100,000 bail.

BCoPD suspended him with pay (including suspension of his police powers) immediately after Tuesday’s incident in Dundalk. He was arrested in Towson yesterday morning. Thursday night, he was suspended without pay after charges were filed.

Harden also is charged with attempted burglary, destruction of property and possession of CDS (not marijuana).

July 29 Incident

At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a 911 call from a man who reported a burglary in progress in the 8200 block of Boundary Road, 21222. Specifically, the caller said someone claiming to be a police officer was trying to kick in his door.

The responding officers found no one at the home but saw an open rear window and a displaced window screen. Officers entered the apartment and found baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Meanwhile, officers on N. Boundary Road pulled over a gray Toyota sedan traveling at a high rate of speed. The driver was Joseph Harden, who was wearing a gray shirt and his BCoPD badge around his neck. Soon after speaking with Harden, officers realized that Harden matched the description of a suspect given by witnesses who said they saw a man leaving the Boundary Road apartment.

Subsequent investigation included the execution of various search and seizure warrants and interviews with the 911 caller, a self-described drug dealer. The investigation showed that for several months Harden has been an associate of Stephen Singh Gomez, 25, of the 500 block of 47th St., 21224 – also a dealer and one of the victim’s customers. (Gomez also has been charged in this case.) Harden has purchased Oxycodone from Gomez several times over the past few months.

Gomez told police that on July 29 he purchased Oxycodone for Harden from the victim at the Boundary Road apartment, but that within an hour Harden requested more pills. The two returned to Boundary Road, and Harden attempted to force entry into the victim’s apartment. The victim told police that he fled in fear through the rear window.

Harden was arrested at his home Thursday morning. He admitted to his role in the N. Boundary Road incident and told police investigators that he is addicted to Oxycodone.

Chief Jim Johnson said that he is “deeply troubled by this officer’s actions. This department does not tolerate criminal conduct among its members, and this officer will face due process for what he has done. Yet we cannot help but be saddened by another troubling case of prescription medication abuse. This problem is pervasive in our society, and unfortunately no institution is immune to it. We hope that this officer and everyone struggling with addiction seeks and receives treatment.”


Harden most recently was assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville, where he has been on modified duty as a result of injuries sustained in a June 2013 police-involved shooting at the Colony Motel on Pulaski Highway.

Harden – assigned to Precinct 11/Essex at the time – was one of three officers who struggled with a man who attempted to run over a woman with a motor scooter outside the motel. The suspect engaged the officers in a violent physical fight and succeeded in defeating one of the restraining devices that held one of the officer’s guns in her holster. As that officer screamed for help, and as the suspect tried to rip her gun from the holster, Harden fatally shot the suspect with his service weapon.

Like all police-involved shootings, this incident was reviewed by the Homicide Unit, a BCoPD internal shooting review board and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney. All three investigations found the shooting justified.

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