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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: shoplifter

UPDATE (February 21, 2019 3:45 p.m.): 

Baltimore County Police are releasing the names of the officers who fired their service weapons after being threatened by a suspect holding a machete inside the Aldi store located in the 8600-block of Liberty Road, 21133 on February 19, 2019.

Police Officer First Class Sands is a 2 ½ -year veteran of the Department and is assigned to the Woodlawn Precinct. Police Officer First Class Waugh is a 3-year veteran of the Department and is also assigned to the Woodlawn Precinct. Neither officer has been involved in any previous shooting incidents. The investigation is on-going at this time.

UPDATE (February 20, 2019 3:45 p.m.):

The suspect shot by police after advancing toward them with a machete has died. He is identified as Emanuel David Joshua Oates (24) with no fixed address.

Original Release (February 20, 2019 2:15 p.m.):

A man wielding a machete was critically injured in a police-involved shooting in Randallstown yesterday afternoon.

An on-duty Baltimore County Police Officer was investigating a vehicle collision on the parking lot near the Aldi grocery store at the Liberty Court Shopping Center in the 8600 block of Liberty Road, 21133 around 4:17 p.m. yesterday when she was approached by an employee of Dollar Tree. The employee pointed out a suspect that just committed a shoplifting at the store. The officer approached the suspect to investigate, but the suspect continued to walk away from her toward Old Court Road.

Once on Old Court Road, the officer made numerous attempts to stop and talk to the suspect but he refused to cooperate and continued to walk away down the middle of the road. Additional officers arrived and attempted to assist in stopping the suspect, who began to flee. One officer grabbed the suspect by the arm as he was fleeing, but the suspect pulled a machete out from under his jacket and swung the knife at that officer.

Officers pursued the suspect as he fled back to the shopping center and inside the Aldi store, occupied by employees and customers, wielding the machete. Officers maintained a safe distance from the suspect as they gave commands for him to drop the weapon. The suspect advanced toward the officers, causing them to back up into a wall near the entrance of the store. The officers continued to order the suspect to drop the weapon but he advanced toward them. Two officers fired their duty weapons at the suspect, who was struck at least once in the upper body.

The officers retrieved the machete and rendered aid to the suspect, who was critically injured during the incident and was transported to an area hospital.

Detectives from the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit are continuing their investigation into this incident today, at the conclusion of which will be reviewed by the State's Attorney's Office for Baltimore County. Body-worn camera video of the incident was captured and may be made available by the State's Attorney's Office at a later time. 

The release of the names of the officers involved in the shooting is forthcoming. Both officers are on routine administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Baltimore County Police have cleared fifteen shoplifting incidents at home improvement stores involving an organized crew of criminals, and are asking for the public's assistance in identifying two more of the suspects.

The two suspects pictured above are associated with this shoplifting crew and were caught on surveillance camera taking tools from a Home Depot store in western Baltimore County. Detectives are now asking for the public's assistance in identifying these men.

The suspects involved in this shoplifting crew have stolen in excess of $100,000 worth of tools, usually Dewalt or Milwaukee tool kits like those seen pictured above. While detectives have cleared fifteen cases from Baltimore County, there are at least forty documented cases involving this group of suspects spanning throughout Maryland and in Deleware.

The suspects typically enter the stores, most commonly Home Depot or Lowes, in groups of 2 - 4 people and walk straight to the tool corral area, take easily carried tool kits, then walk together directly out of the store. Detectives have identified and charged three members of this shoplifting crew:

  • Eric Sebastian Cooke (50) of the 500 block of South Longwood Street in Baltimore City, 21223
  • Danielle Victoria McCory (29) of the 2600 block of Harlem Avenue in Baltimore City, 21216
  • Spencer Whitridge Thomas (47) of the 2700 block of Harlem Avenue in Baltimore City, 21216

Anyone who recognizes the two unidentified suspects or has any information on these crimes or additional suspects can contact police at 410-307-2020. These crimes remain under investigation by members of the Wilkens Precinct Investigative Services Unit.

Reward Offered

Metro Crime Stoppers, an organization that is separate from the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Government, offers rewards for information in connection with felony offenses.

Anonymous tips can be sent to Metro Crime Stoppers by phone, text message or online.

Phone: 1-866-7LOCKUP

Text message: Text "MCS" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637)

Web tip: www.metrocrimestoppers.org

UPDATE (August 2, 2017 2:02 p.m.):

Police have identified the deceased suspect in yesterday's police-involved shooting as Christopher Evin Clapp (35) with no fixed address.

The officer involved in the shooting is identified as Police Officer First Class McCain of Precinct 8. He is a 16-1/2 year veteran of the force with one prior combat shooting in 2006 that did not result in a fatality.

Original Release (August 1, 2017 5:12 p.m.):

Baltimore County Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding a police-involved shooting early this morning at the Giant grocery store in Catonsville.

Just before 4 a.m. police responded to the 6000 block of Baltimore National Pike after an off-duty, uniformed Baltimore County Police Officer, working secondary employment at Giant, shot and killed a fleeing suspect as the officer was being dragged by the suspect vehicle over 100 feet across the parking lot.

The suspect previously entered the Giant store with canvas grocery bags and filled them with merchandise, including household items such as laundry detergent. The officer watched the suspect walk past all working registers with the bags of merchandise, making no attempt to pay for the items before exiting the store. The officer quickly confirmed with an employee that the suspect had not paid for the items he’d taken, then followed the suspect outside of the store where he saw him get into the driver’s seat of a Lincoln vehicle with a North Carolina registration plate waiting on the parking lot.

The officer approached the driver side window and verbally engaged the suspect, who responded by putting the car’s gear into drive. The officer reached into the vehicle, ordering the suspect to stop the vehicle multiple times, but the suspect rapidly accelerated, squealing the vehicle’s tires on the pavement and speeding away, dragging the officer with the vehicle. Witnesses heard the officer telling the driver to stop multiple times.  The officer drew his service weapon and fired shots into the vehicle at the suspect, killing the suspect and stopping the vehicle.  The deceased suspect’s identity is not being released until notification of next of kin.

An adult male who was in the front seat of the suspect’s Lincoln at the time of the incident was unharmed, but taken to an area hospital for treatment of chest pains following the incident. He has given police an account of the events that is consistent with the accounts of other independent witnesses at the scene and surveillance video obtained from the Giant store.  The Giant grocery store video will be made available at a later time.

Police determined that the Lincoln was not currently registered but was displaying a North Carolina tag registered to a Subaru. Police are still investigating to determine how the suspect came into possession of the Lincoln, which is not currently reported stolen.

While the officer was wearing his Baltimore County Police issued uniform, he was not equipped with a body-worn camera. The body-worn camera policy does not require it be worn with the uniform if an officer is working in a secondary employment capacity.

Per the agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4, the officer involved in the shooting will not be identified at this time. The Homicide Unit investigates all police-involved shootings. Once the investigation is complete, the incident will be reviewed by the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Baltimore County Firearms Discharge Review Board also examines every shot fired by police for compliance with agency policy. As standard procedure, the officer will be placed on administrative status during this process.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017