Home invasion robbery foiled by text message

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 07:58:35-05
For all of the crime in Northwest Baltimore, the 3700 block of Overview Road has long been an exception.

"Everybody around here is like neighbors,” Sherman Johnson said, “We're all neighbors down here and we try to keep the guys from being around here a lot. That's all."

But all of that changed on Sunday evening when four armed men forced their way into a house and held the five people inside at gunpoint, according to police.

RELATED: Police arrest 4 suspects in home invasion, robbery

"The last time we had something this serious was when they killed the ice cream man down on the corner,” added Michael Hurd, “That's about 20 some years ago when they robbed him."

The men demanded money and valuables, pistol-whipping two of their victims in the process, but police say one person ought back without the men ever knowing.

"Someone on the inside of the house was smart enough to text a relative who was not at the home and had them alert the police," said Agent Donny Moses of the Baltimore City Police Department.

When officers arrived at the house, someone from behind the closed front door assured them that everything was fine and tried to send them away.

But the officers didn't take them at their word.

"When his partner came around back, the top floor window opened,” Moses said. “A young man yelled out, 'Man, they're in here with guns!'"

Backup would come in the form of a SWAT team unit and negotiators, and ultimately, all four men would end up in police custody without anyone firing a single shot.

"It was actually a recipe for disaster,” Moses said, “However, through the use of good police work and communications, we were able to resolve this matter without anyone getting hurt."

Police say two of the suspects surrendered and the other two tried to pose as victims as the real victims came out of the house, but they were arrested on the spot.

Police arrested Rodney Holloman, 35, Antonio Davis, 27, Davon Wright, 26, and Donnell Burgess, 16. All four were charged with armed robbery.

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