Apr. 28—More than 50 police officers, SWAT teams and armored rescue vehicles joined forces in downtown Frederick Tuesday night to in response an undercover investigation of numerous firearms discharges and armed robberies in the area, according to police.
At about 9:15 p.m., Frederick Police Department Lt. Andrew Alcorn said police were in the process of executing search warrants in the 500 and 600 blocks of N. Bentz Street. Police on Wednesday said the names of those involved and their charges with will be released at the time of their arrests. There were no injuries to the police, general public or community during the operation, according to police.
"Right now there's multiple people detained from each residence, and we're sorting through their involvement in relation to these cases," Alcorn said Tuesday. "We believe that everything went smoothly and we don't expect any further issues this evening."
For weeks, Alcorn said, police have been preparing to serve the search warrants in response to three noninjury firearms discharges and five armed robberies that have occurred in the area of W. 6th Street recently. FPD increased patrols in the area while conducting investigations, including an undercover operation, in which police reportedly learned of several suspects in multiple cases and their associates, a news release reads.
Also linked to the investigation, Alcorn said, was the arrest of 19-year-old Titus Lamont Diggs Jr., who was arrested last week for an alleged carjacking at gunpoint April 18 in the 200 block of E. 4th Street. After his arrest in Baltimore County, where he faces other charges, evidence in the FPD Diggs case led officers to believe more suspects were staying at two residences in the 500 and 600 blocks of N. Bentz Street, according to authorities.
Frederick Chief of Police Jason Lando in a prepared statement acknowledged residents' concerns.
"We know the residents downtown have been extremely concerned about the serious nature of these crimes," Lando said. "While we would all like to see a quick resolution when it comes to crimes of violence, we also know these investigations take time to make sure we get it right. We appreciate the patience of our residents and we are pleased to know these suspects will be held responsible for the havoc they have wreaked on the community."
Around 9 p.m. Tuesday, FPD tweeted asking residents to avoid the area for police activity. Police closed roads to pedestrians and traffic in the area of N. Bentz and W. 6th streets, plus surrounding blocks, for the safety of the community, according to the release.
Police believe the following cases are related and plan to seek additional charges against certain unnamed people in near future:
— Firearms discharge, April 25, 2021 at 12:34 p.m.
— Firearms discharge, April 5, 2021 at 10:30 p.m.
— Firearms discharge, March 30, 2021 at 10:52 p.m.
— Armed robbery, Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:48 p.m.
— Armed robbery, Jan. 23, 2021 at 5:15 p.m.
— Armed robbery, March 27, 2021 at 3:25 a.m.
— Armed robbery, March 28, 2021 at 1:51 a.m.
— Armed robbery, March 31, 2021 at 11:31 p.m.
Authorities are hopeful their efforts Tuesday night will lead to less incidents in the area.
"We hope that our presence here this evening ... will help quell the issues in the neighborhood," Alcorn said.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact FPD anonymously via the tip line at at 301-600-TIPS (8477), send information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text to 240-674-TIPS (8477).
The city of Frederick is a participating jurisdiction with Metro Crime Stoppers (MCS) of Maryland. Submitting a tip through MCS is anonymous, and, if the information leads to an arrest or criminal charges, the tipster receives a cash reward. See metrocrimestoppers.org/submit-a-tip/ for more information.
Due to the high risk nature of the event, armored rescue vehicles and SWAT teams from Frederick County Sheriff's Office and Washington County assisted FPD Tuesday, according to the release. The investigation was a coordinated effort between the Frederick Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Hagerstown Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations under the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN).
This story has been updated from its original version.
Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller