Diner robbery leads to crashes, carjacking; BW Parkway snarled for hours

LAUREL, Md. — A southbound portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway was shut down for more than six hours Tuesday morning after an armed robbery suspect crashed into several vehicles, carjacked another one and drove off.

The Laurel, Maryland, police said that three armed men robbed the Tastee Diner on Washington Boulevard at around midnight Tuesday; a worker there suffered minor injuries. The police say they got away with about $140.

Cashier Joe Fredholm, 74, said one of the robbers threw him to the floor and pointed a gun at his head. He said he thought he was going to die.

“[The robber] told everybody to get on the floor,” Fredholm said. “… He took the butt of the gun and laid it across my head. He said he was going to kill me.”

From there, the three escaped in a burgundy-colored BMW, the Laurel police said. At about 12:30 a.m., the U.S. Park Police were called with a report of a vehicle driving erratically.

“The vehicle was driving at a high rate of speed and began crashing into other vehicles,” said park police spokeswoman Anna Rose.

The driver hit at least seven other vehicles, leaving several people with minor injuries. The park police later told the Laurel police that it was the BMW involved in the diner robbery.

Police say the driver then came to a stop between Md.  197 and Md. 198 and carjacked someone.

“A man got out of the vehicle wielding a gun and forcibly took another car,” Rose said. “One shot was fired during the carjacking.”

Police later recovered the stolen car in Northeast D.C., but all three suspects remained on the loose Tuesday morning.

The road was reopened a little after 7 a.m.

“We are asking any witnesses to please call us,” Rose said.

Anyone with information is urged to call 202-610-7500.

The location of the crash:

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