Police beat

Police beat

October 21, 1990


A two-alarm fire destroyed part of a Glen Burnie building that houses ministorage units early Friday morning, causing more than $200,000 in damage.

Although county fire officials say the cause of the fire is undetermined, lightning is suspected, said Capt. Michael Schaal.

Schaal said firefighters arrived at Ritchie Mini Storage, on Ertel Road, at 1:45 a.m. A second alarm was called in 20 minutes later. The fire was brought under control at 5:20 a.m.

Schaal said there was a lightning strike at 8 p.m. Friday in the area, which is probably when the building got hit. He said the roof smoldered for several hours before fire broke out. "It is not unusual," he said.

Schaal He said the owner of the storage company lives nearby and reported that around 8 p.m., his television and phones blew out, and his roof antenna spun around at the same time he saw a bolt of lightning.

Schaal said officials have not ruled that the fire was caused by a faulty electrical system, but that appears unlikely. He said only the middle storage units burned -- the other bins were separated by fire walls.

He also said that the fire was the most serious problem the county had with Friday's storm.


A 35-year-old woman was charged with possessing cocaine Thursday after she was stopped by police for driving with a broken windshield.

A police report says Marlene Christa Swallows, of the 1700 block of Bayside Beach Road, in Bayside Beach, was driving on Whitaker Road in Pasadena when police pulled her over at about 7:40 p.m.

The report says police found a white rock-like substance on the woman's --board. The woman was arrested after a police dog was called to the scene and went through the car, the report says.


Two men robbed a truck driver Thursday afternoon in Glen Burnie and fled with his truck full of soft drinks.

Police say that Thomas Smith, 30, of the 5900 block of Watchchain Way, was driving east on New Ordnance Road near Route 10 when he stopped to pick up two hitchhikers.

One of the men walked to the driver's door and pointed a gun at Smith, ordering him out of the truck. Both men got into the truck and drove away.

Baltimore City police later found the truck. The only thing stolen was $75 in change that belonged to the driver, police said.


A 26-year-old man told police he was robbed and beaten Tuesday by three men on Holly Beach Farm Road near Annapolis.

Bryan Lamb, of the 200 block of Fleet Street, Annapolis, said he met the three men at the YMCA on Hilltop Road. The group then drove out on Holly Beach Farm Road to look at an $800,000 house. A police report says the man was beaten and robbed of $3 in the driveway of the house.

Lamb escaped and ran down the road to a dock, jumped into a boat and went to sleep, the report says. He suffered cuts on his hands and stomach, according to the report.

Police have issued the following descriptions:

One suspect is described as in his 20s, has brown hair, is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

The second suspect is about 17 and weighs about 125 pounds.

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