A Frederick man was ordered held without bail Tuesday after sheriff’s deputies said he used an SUV he took from the car dealership where he worked to rob a 7-Eleven at knifepoint.
Allen Michael Hooks, 27, took an Audi SUV from the Ourisman Audi dealership where he works as a subcontractor and drove it to the gas station and convenience store in the 5700 block of Buckeystown Pike at about 12:30 p.m. Monday, according to court charging documents. Hooks entered the store wearing a shirt with eye holes cut into it over his face and threatened a cashier and a customer with a knife, according to charging documents filed in Frederick County District Court.
“I have a knife. Give me all the cash,” Hooks told the manager working the store’s cash register, according to the documents.
The man standing in line, Joshua Rendon, said in an interview with The Frederick News-Post that he didn’t see Hooks walk in, but he recalled turning to see a man in a dark mask standing next to him at the counter.
“He just said, ‘Step back,’ then he pulled out a knife and told me if everyone cooperated then nobody would get hurt,” Rendon said.
The manager handed over $140 in $20 bills from the register and Hooks left the store, got back into the Audi and drove away before deputies arrived, the documents state. As the robber was leaving, Rendon said he walked up to the glass and took down the vehicle’s description and license plate from where it was backed into a parking space to the right of the store.
Using the Audi’s license plate number, detectives contacted the vehicle’s owner, who told them that they had dropped off the SUV at the dealership less than a mile away on Friday for maintenance, the documents state.
The Audi was already back at the dealership when detectives arrived to investigate. By checking vehicle sign-in records, they learned that Hooks, a subcontractor working in the dealership’s washing bay, was the last person to check in the SUV.
When Hooks saw a dealership employee retrieve the sign-in sheet for the vehicles from the washing bay, he took another customer’s vehicle from the lot and fled before deputies could confront him, the documents state.
Hooks came back to the dealership about an hour later through a back door, but deputies were notified by one of his co-workers. Hooks was uncooperative with detectives who confronted him about the robbery, refusing to talk and shoving an employee in an attempt to flee the dealership, according to a sheriff’s office press release. Hooks was restrained by dealership employees and arrested.
Hooks continued to refuse to answer questions from detectives, but clothing, including a mask, and a knife matching those worn and used in the robbery were found when deputies searched both of the vehicles Hooks used as well as Hooks himself, documents state.
Hooks was charged with armed robbery, robbery, theft from $100 to $1,500, theft from $25,000 to $100,000, theft from $1,500 to $25,000, possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession. He was also charged with three counts of second-degree assault and two counts each of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment and the unauthorized removal of property.
Rendon, who served in the military, said he managed to keep his cool during the robbery, but he didn’t get the impression that the robber would have become violent if he’d faced resistance.
“I don’t know who the person was and I don’t know what was going on in his life, but he just seemed desperate for cash, like he might have had something going on in his life,” Rendon said.
While Hooks repeatedly refused to talk about the criminal charges he was facing after his arrest, he did tell detectives that he was a drug addict who had recently relapsed and was going through significant emotional distress, according to court charging documents. Several glass pipes and suspected crack cocaine were found in Hooks’ possession when he was arrested.
Hooks refused to meet with a public defender before a bail review hearing scheduled in his case Tuesday afternoon in Frederick County District Court, telling Judge W. Milnor Roberts that he did not think a lawyer was necessary for the initial hearing.
“At the bail review? No,” Hooks said when Roberts asked him if he was sure he did not want an attorney to represent him for the hearing. “There’s no need.”
Hooks listened calmly as Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Chad Weddle outlined the case against him and asked Roberts to continue to withhold bail. When Roberts asked whether Hooks would like to address the court, he declined.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled in Hooks’ case for April 2, according to online court records.