Landover man in custody in Wheaton carjackings

WASHINGTON — The man charged in connection with three carjackings at the Westfield Wheaton Shopping Mall has a court appearance Thursday in Prince George’s County.

Henry Sanders, 50, has been charged in two felony robberies in Prince George’s County. The details are similar to those which put holiday shoppers on edge for the past week in the Wheaton area.

“He’s a serious repeat offender that needed to be taken off the street,” Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Russell Hamill said.

Multiple felony charges in two neighboring counties have created a dizzying court schedule for the state’s attorneys, who say they’ll be talking daily.

The first of the crimes occurred Nov. 23, the second on Nov. 26 and the third on Nov. 27.

In the first two kidnappings, the victims were loading groceries in their cars in the Giant parking lot. In the third, the man was forced into his car outside of Target.

Police released this video of the suspect taken from the Target store:

Charging documents in Prince George’s County accuse him of two felony robberies – both in November – in which he had asked someone for a ride. In one instance, he allegedly told the 79-year-old victim he needed to go to the hospital to visit his ailing mother.

Once Sanders entered the victims’ car, he either pulled a knife or threw punches, the documents say. He demanded credit cards, cash and a trip to an ATM.

“The defendant told the victim he would kill the victim if he didn’t withdraw the money,” the documents say.

While the series of carjackings in Wheaton have drawn more attention, it could be months before Sanders is moved to Montgomery County.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy has already said he will request that Sanders be held without bond “based on the nature of these charges as well as the fact that he was already out on another violent crime.”

The bond hearing in Prince George’s County is to begin sometime after 1 p.m. Thursday.

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WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck contributed to this report. Follow Andrew and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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