SYKESVILLE - As she ran from her patrol car to chase a burglary suspect, Cpl. Marcie Durham knew she was courting danger.
The farther the Sykesville officer got from the car's radio transmitter, the weaker became the signal she was sending from her walkie-talkie to state police in Westminster.
Durham derived little comfort from being unable to transmit her position while chasing a suspect who was possibly armed.
Moments earlier, Durham had been at a the scene of Tuesday's third breaking-and-entering incident in town and had received over the radio a description of a "suspicious person" in the neighborhood.
Suddenly Durham looked up and saw a man matching the description walking down the street, and the chase was on.
While running, the corporal radioed details to state police, whom she was relying on for backup. But the signal started to fade as the corporal put distance between herself and the patrol car.
However, state police weren't the only people listening to Durham's broadcast. Several residents tuned in to the action on police scanners.
Some were actually watching the chase unfold and phoning state police with updates of Durham's position.
"Everybody has scanners and everybody was listening," Durham said.
"Something like that draws a lot of attention."
Durham cornered the suspect after several blocks in an apartment building near the corner of Main and Sandosky streets, and state police arrived to help. Residents came out of their homes to help police stake out the building until the suspect was flushed out.
Police arrested Richard Ray Brookshire, who had no fixed address, and charged him with 14 counts, including breaking and entering, theft and resisting arrest. He also is wanted by Montgomery County police on other warrants, Sykesville police said.
He is being held on $50,000 bond in the county Detention Center.
"It was very helpful," said Sykesville Police Chief Wallace P. Mitchell of the citizens' assistance. "A lot of times, people don't want to get involved."