'He Threatened to Kill Me': Masked Men Rob Md. Diner, May Have Caused Massive Crash | NBC4 Washington

Tracee Wilkins and the News4 team covering where you live

'He Threatened to Kill Me': Masked Men Rob Md. Diner, May Have Caused Massive Crash

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    Police sources tell News4 they believe a crash involving more than half a dozen vehicles on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland may be connected to an armed robbery earlier at the Tastee Diner in Laurel. During that crash, someone carjacked a vehicle after firing a warning shot for the driver, sources said. News4's Pat Collins reports. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    A 74-year-old manager at a Laurel, Maryland, diner said he'll be back at work Tuesday night, hours after three masked men pistol-whipped him and robbed the business. Police believe the robbers may have also caused a massive crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. 

    Joe Fredholm was inside the Tastee Diner with a cook and two customers when the suspects rushed inside about midnight. 

    "They were all dressed as ninjas," Fredholm said. 

    The suspects forced Fredholm to the floor, held the cook at gunpoint and tried to kick down the office door. 

    'He Threatened to Kill Me': Masked Men Rob Laurel Diner

    [DC] 'He Threatened to Kill Me': Masked Men Rob Laurel Diner
    A 74-year-old cashier at a Laurel, Maryland, diner says he'll be back at work Tuesday night, hours after three masked men pistol-whipped him and robbed the business. Police believe the suspects may have also caused a massive crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    The suspects eventually let Fredholm get up so he could open the cash register. 

    "He threatened to kill me a couple of times," Fredholm said. "He hit me with the bell of his gun twice on the side of the head."

    Nothing like this has even happened at the diner, said Fredholm, who is known as Papa Joe and has worked as the night manager at Tastee for more than 30 years.

    "Thirty-five years I've been working here, and I've never been robbed," Fredholm said. 

    The robbers left with about $400 and a cellphone, an assistant manager at the restaurant said. The men fled in a burgundy BMW and were last seen heading toward Howard County. 

    After the robbery, police began receiving calls about an erratic driver in a burgundy BMW in the southbound lanes of the BW Parkway at about 12:30 a.m. According to U.S. Park Police, the erratic driver crashed into at least seven vehicles at a fast speed before getting out of his wrecked car and firing a single shot to scare another driver and steal that car. 

    Driver Crashes Into 7 Vehicles, Steals Car on BW Parkway

    [DC] Driver Crashes Into 7 Vehicles, Steals Car on BW Parkway
    The southbound lanes of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway have reopened after an erratic driver crashed into several vehicles before carjacking another driver. Officials believe the incident may be related to the armed robbery of a Prince George's County diner.
    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    A spokesperson for the City of Laurel said the getaway car from the robbery was among the vehicles at the crash scene on the BW Parkway. 

    Police recovered the stolen vehicle in Northeast Washington, but the driver got away. It's not clear whether the other robbers from the diner were involved in the incident on the BW Parkway.

    No one was hit by the bullet, but several people were injured in the crashes. All of the injuries are minor, according to Sgt. Anna Rose with U.S. Park Police. 

    The southbound lanes of the BW Parkway were closed for several hours while crews removed the vehicles from the scene. 

    Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police.