FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
MARCH 30, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE MAN SENTENCED TO OVER 12 YEARS FOR ARMED ROBBERY
Pointed a Gun at Employees During Robbery of Five Restaurants Within a Two Month Spree; Arrested During Attempt to Rob Sixth Restaurant
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced William Austin Flowers, age 31, of Baltimore today to 154 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for robbery and brandishing a firearm during a robbery, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his guilty plea, Flowers and Christopher Kelly carried out a series of armed robberies at restaurants in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. On September 25, 2005, they robbed the Hooter’s Restaurant located at 1630 E. Joppa Road, Baltimore County, Maryland. At gunpoint, an employee was forced to open the restaurant’s safe and hand over $4,164 in cash contained inside, as well as her cellular telephone and identification.
In a similar manner, Flowers and Kelly robbed the Hooters Restaurant located at 7918 W. Broad Street, Henrico County, Virginia, on October 13, 2005; the Hooters Restaurant located at 7702 Gateway Lane NW, Concord, North Carolina, on October 16, 2005; the International House of Pancakes located at 6973 Security Boulevard, Baltimore County, Maryland on November 29, 2005; and the Outback Restaurant located at 4125 Ebenezer Road, White Marsh, Maryland on November 30, 2005. In each case they accosted employees at gunpoint, stealing money from the store safe, as well as from the victims. In three of the robberies, the defendants ordered the employees into freezers before leaving the restaurants.
On January 2, 2006, Flowers and Kelly went to the 3600 block of Wilkens Avenue in Baltimore to rob the nearby McDonald’s restaurant. After watching the restaurant, one of the robbers exited their SUV and began to approach the McDonald’s. However, a police car arrived in the area before the robbery could be completed. Flowers left the area carrying a duffel bag to try to evade the police, but Baltimore City Police officers stopped Flowers as he was heading down Wilkens Avenue. Flowers fled on foot, throwing the duffel bag away. Flowers was eventually arrested and the bag recovered. Inside the bag, officers found various tools of the planned robbery, including two firearms, a mask, gloves and a roll of duct tape. Kelly was arrested near the SUV.
Kelly, age 36, also of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 22 years in prison on February 26, 2007.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department and law enforcement authorities in Virginia and North Carolina who provided assistance in the case. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Hanlon and Harry Gruber, who prosecuted the case.