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Press Release

Baltimore Armed Robber Admits To Robbing And Attempting To Rob Three Stores And Two Customers In One Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Items From Two Robberies Committed Two Days Earlier Were Found in Defendant’s Home

Baltimore, Maryland – Thomas Mims, age 53, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to robbery and using a firearm during a robbery.

The plea agreement was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on February 3, 2014, Mims walked into a Rite-Aid on Belair Road in Baltimore, gestured towards his waistband to suggest that he was armed and demanded money from the cashier. The cashier ran away. After first trying to run after her, Mims ran from the store and drove away.

Later that day, Mims walked into Foreman Mills, a retail store also on Belair Road, and demanded money from an employee who was holding a cash register drawer at the customer service desk. Mims lifted his shirt to display the butt of a handgun. The employee ran away with the drawer into a back office. Mims then approached a cashier and demanded money from her register. The cashier saw Mims holding the gun in his hand. Mims also demanded that a customer give him her purse. When the customer’s fiancé intervened by pushing Mims away, Mims pointed the gun at the customer and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire.

Mims left the store and pointed his gun at another customer in the parking lot, demanding her purse. When that customer did not immediately comply, Mims snatched her purse, ran to his vehicle and drove away.

Later that day, Mims entered the Rainbow Shop on Erdman Avenue in Baltimore and displayed his gun, demanding money from the cashier. The cashier gave him $400 from the register. Mims demanded more money and when the cashier said there was none, Mims put his finger on the trigger of the gun and told the cashier she better not have lied to him. Mims then fled and drove away.

Witnesses called 911. Baltimore police officers soon located a vehicle that matched descriptions provided by witnesses. When officers pursued the vehicle, it sped off and led officers on a high speed chase. Police trapped Mims’ vehicle in a cul-de-sac and as officers approached on foot, Mims sped toward them in his car. As a result, one officer shot Mims in the arm. Several minutes later the chase ended and Mims was arrested.

Police executed a search warrant at Mims’ house and car. They seized a loaded handgun, two ski masks, and clothing worn by the suspect in an earlier robbery at a Subway restaurant two days earlier on February 1, 2014, along with items stolen from an earlier robbery at Walgreens, also on February 1.

Mims faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum sentence of life for using a firearm during a robbery; and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the robbery. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. scheduled sentencing for December 16, 201, at 1:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Debra L. Dwyer and Special Assistant United States Attorney Piper F. McKeithen, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to Exile cases, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 26, 2015