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Police suspect involvement in several incidents in last two months

By AMANDA SCOTT

Staff writer

A suspect has been arrested and charged in the investigation of several armed robberies in Sunderland and Prince Frederick during the last two months.

Joshua Terrell Trippett, 17, of Sunderland has been charged as an adult with three counts each of armed robbery and second-degree assault, two counts each of firearm use in the commission of a violent crime and theft less than $1,000 value, and four counts of first-degree assault for allegedly committing armed robberies on Nov. 5 and 16 and Dec. 12 and 18.

During the robberies, according to charging documents, the suspect allegedly ordered the victims to give him money or he would kill them. In each instance, the suspect was holding a black revolver in his right hand. Victims of the four robberies described the suspect as a thin, athletic male who appeared to be between 20 and 30 years old. Also in each instance, the suspect wore yellow rubber gloves, according to charging documents.

At about 12:53 a.m. Nov. 5, Trippett allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven convenience store in Sunderland at gunpoint. According to charging documents, the suspect obtained about $615 in cash from two of the cash registers and then personally removed cigarettes and cigarillos from the store. The total loss due to theft was about $839.40, charging documents state. The suspect left the store on foot and headed north toward Dalrymple Road.

On Nov. 16 at about 2:35 a.m., a suspect robbed the same 7-Eleven in Sunderland at gunpoint. The suspect obtained about $500 in cash from the cash registers and took several boxes of cigarettes and cigarillos, according to charging documents. The suspect left the store on foot and headed north toward Dalrymple Road.

On Dec. 12 at about 9 a.m., a suspect robbed the Subway restaurant in Sunderland at gunpoint. When one of the clerks resisted and tried to flee, charging documents state, “the suspect hit him with his hand and also kicked him several times to ensure his compliance.” The suspect then placed the gun on the floor so he could remove cash from the register. According to charging documents, investigators reviewing the surveillance footage concluded that the weapon was a revolver “and most referred to it as a ‘Saturday Night Special.’”

The suspect fled the scene with about $315 in cash, according to charging documents.

At about 5:43 p.m. Dec. 18, a suspect robbed Sunflower Cleaners in Prince Frederick at gunpoint. According to charging documents, the suspect fled the scene with about $250 in cash and the manager’s Samsung cellphone. After exiting the cleaners, the suspect got into the driver’s seat of a white four-door Sedan, charging documents state.

During the investigation, it was learned that the tag on the sedan had been stolen and was registered to a St. Mary’s County woman.

Upon contacting the registered owner, charging documents state, the woman said she sold the vehicle to Terrell for about $400.

On Dec. 20, two days after the most recent commercial armed robbery, police reported that they executed a search warrant of the vehicle and obtained several items, including suspected marijuana, a black HW-38 Special revolver with three live rounds, a partially completed Maryland Motor Vehicle title for the white sedan indicating Tippett as the buyer, seven Sunflower Cleaners receipts and the Samsung cellphone.

Also on Dec. 20, Dfc. Evans of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office was asked to review the surveillance footage from the Sunflower Cleaners robbery to confirm if the suspect was Trippett. According to charging documents, Evans is a school liaison officer at Northern High School where Trippett recently attended until he was suspended Dec. 3. Evans also reported, according to charging documents, he had recently investigated Trippett for a criminal violation at the high school.

Police executed a search warrant Dec. 21 at Trippett’s home on Gertrude Drive in Sunderland where several items were obtained, including yellow rubber gloves, black clothing “which appear to be the same items worn by the armed robbery suspect” on Nov. 5 and a pair of shoes that “match the shoes the suspect was wearing when he committed the armed robbery” at the 7-Eleven on Nov. 5.

ascott@somdnews.com