HCPD Shares Incorrect Date for Safeway Robbery

On September 27, the Howard County Police Department offered a $1000 reward regarding a purported September 13 theft and robbery incident at the Harper’s Choice Safeway in Columbia. Employees were pepper sprayed while attempting to stop the theft. In addition, a young girl is seen on security video with the adult suspects. However, based on prior statements of the HCPD, the incident actually occurred on September 12, not the 13th.

After the offer of the reward, local media and at least one local blogger posted the story on or after September 27. In addition, by Monday the video had received nearly 8000 views.

Scott E’s Blog had a headline about the “Sept 13 robbery” and included the reward statement and surveillance video. The HCPD also said the incident occurred at 8:08 pm.

https://scotteblog.com/2019/09/27/howard-county-police-are-asking-for-the-publics-help-in-identifying-two-suspects-in-a-sept-13-robbery-and-theft-at-safeway-in-columbia/

WBALTV did a live report from the parking lot and stated that “the robbery was in progress on Sept. 13.”

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/howard-county-police-search-for-man-woman-who-robbed-columbia-safeway/29272890

Fox45 News essentially just posted the HCPD video without an accompanying story.

tps://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/1000-reward-police-search-for-2-suspects-in-safeway-robbery-theft-in-columbia

However, Fox45 had previously reported the story on Friday September 13 as having occurred “last night”– September 12.

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/shoplifter-pepper-sprays-employees-at-columbia-safeway

On September 16, Patch had reported the incident as having occurred on September 12.

https://patch.com/maryland/columbia/shoplifter-columbia-safeway-pepper-sprays-employees

More importantly, the Howard County Police Daily Crime Bulletin for Friday, September 13, 2019 stated that the incident occurred at 8:11 pm on September 12.

https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=-Af0UEA_Wxs%3d&tabid=1599&portalid=0

In addition, the Daily Crime Bulletin for September 13 was posted on Facebook on September 13 at 4:14 pm–about four hours before the purported incident was now said to have occurred in the HCPD video.

After this matter was brought to their attention, HCPD Office of Public Affairs responded: ” You are correct. It did occur on Sept. 12, and the Sept. 13 date was posted in error. It will be corrected. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. “

So the Safeway incident occurred on Thursday, September 12 and not Friday, September 13.