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Ellicott City students robbed walking home from school, police say

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Posted at 8:46 PM, Nov 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-10 23:12:36-05

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Two high school students reported being robbed at gunpoint within minutes of each other in Ellicott City Wednesday, police said.

Police told WMAR those two robberies, and an attempted carjacking in Columbia, may be related.

One student, according to police, said he was robbed at gunpoint in the 9700 block of Riverside Circle. Five minutes later, another said he was robbed just down the road on nearby Gwynn Park Drive.

An hour before all that, at around 2:10pm, police said there was an attempted carjacking 15 minutes away in Columbia at the 10300 block of College Square.

The robberies reportedly took place roughly a mile east of Centennial High School and Burleigh Manor Middle School, and happened within minutes of each other. Nobody was injured, police said.

"What happened was in a short distance from each other, in a short time frame," said Seth Hoffman, spokesperson for the Howard County Police Department. "So these were two separate robberies, and we believe that they're related.

Jennifer Duan's 7th grader walks a mile and a half each day to Burleigh Manor Middle School. Soon, he'll go to Centennial High School right next door.

"This is such a safe place and I never thought that could be a concern for me," Duan explained, "We moved here for that reason - for the safety."

This week, Duan got a letter from the school saying two Centennial High Schoolers had been robbed walking home from school in a neighborhood down the road, and was understandably concerned when she read it.

Duan's middle schooler lost his bus service this academic year. For her, this undercuts just how much she wants it back, in addition to road safety, and winter coming up.

"I feel like winter is coming, the days are shorter, and I want to make sure my son can come home safely. Unfortunately, I don't work from home - neither does my husband - so we don't have the option of taking him home every day."

Police told WMAR they ramped up patrols on Thursday and Friday during arrival and dismissal. They said they don't have a great description of the suspects - their faces were covered - but believe it may be a group of male and female suspects, and they may have taken off in a silver Hyundai sedan.