Columbia residents alerted after five Baltimore teens arrested for armed robberies, attempted carjackings

BALTIMORE – Residents in a Columbia community are now on alert after five teenagers were arrested for armed robberies and attempted carjackings.

The teens – three boys and two girls – are 14 and 15 years old from Baltimore City.

Howard County Police say a group of armed teens drove to the Wilde Lake neighborhood Sunday morning with the intent to steal cars.

Officers tried stopping the car, but it took off and led police on a brief chase into Baltimore where they were taken into custody.


Several residents in the community say they are nervous it happened so close to home.

“I take the dog out all the time, so yeah, makes you a little nervous,” said Nancy Stefan, who has lived in the community for more than 40 years. “It’s scary because we’ve never had too much of this before.”

Investigators are looking into whether the teens were involved in other crimes both in Howard County and across the area.

The two female suspects were previously charged in two armed robberies that occurred in Ellicott City in November.

“These two juvenile females were part of a group charged in similar crimes back in November,” said Lori Boone, spokesperson for the Howard County Police Department.

Police say this theft is different than the Kia and Hyundai theft challenge that circulated on social media.


A woman told WJZ her neighbor was in his car when the teens attempted a carjacking.

“They were on the way to church and he had the engine running and he didn’t have his phone in the car yet, just him,” resident Hilary Messer said. “He had the presence of mind to just drive and escape.”

“It’s scary just to think that that could happen to us, having someone point a gun at us and take a car,” Susan Girard added.

According to data from Howard County Police, Columbia had over 1,000 car thefts in 2023, including 47 in the Wilde Lake neighborhood.

The teens are being held at various juvenile justice centers in the state. Anyone with additional information on these incidents is encouraged to contact Howard County Police at 410-313-2200.

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