WESTMINSTER - Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help solve the Crime of the Week.
This week, the group is targeting the disappearance of Sidney James Catuchi, who is wanted by the state police and the Carroll Sheriff's Department on bench warrants for driving while intoxicated, theft and trespassing.
State police describe him as a white male, 5-feet, 11-inches tall, and weighing 155 pounds. He has brown hair and was born on Sept. 3, 1962.
Catuchi's last known addresses were in Alexandria, Va., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Police say he is also known as Jesse Alverez, James Blair and Curtis Gruenich.
If you have any information about Catuchi, or believe you may know where he is living or working, please call Crime Solvers at (800) 562-TIPS.
You do not need to give your name, and if your information leads to an arrest, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward.
ASSAULT SUSPECT SOUGHT
State police in Westminster are searching for a suspect they say attacked and robbed an elderly woman in her home Monday evening.
The suspect, John Virgil Hill, is described by police as a 25-year-old black male, 5-feet, 9-inches tall and 160 pounds.
Police said the suspect knocked at the door of the elderly woman's home in the 100 block of Dunrovin Avenue, told her his car had broken down, and asked to use her phone.
Once inside the home, the suspect grabbed her and threatened to kill her if she didn't give him her money. He tied a nylon stocking around her throat and began choking her until she turned over $91, police said.
After she gave him the money, the suspect fled on foot.
Members of the state police, Westminster City Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department searched the area after the robbery and their investigation led to Hill.
Hill is still at large and is believed to be in the Emmitsburg area.
Police said he has no fixed address. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Westminster barracks at 876-2101. Callers are asked to refer to case number V-56-28477.
140 CRASH INJURES MAN
An early evening crash Tuesday on Taneytown Pike near Baptist Road between a car and a farm tractor sent one driver to Carroll County General Hospital.
State police in Westminster said the accident occurred at 6:10 p.m. when Robert T. Saunders, 36, of the 5600 block Taneytown Pike in Taneytown, was driving his Minneapolis Moline Jet Star farm tractor southbound on Route 140.
The tractor was hit from behind by a 1987 Ford Escort driven by Randall Allen Rinehart, 19, of the 4000 block Baptist Road in Taneytown.
Police said Rinehart told them he did not see the tractor because it didn't have any lights on. Witnesses in another car told police they did not see the tractor's lights.
Saunders said the tractor's lights were on, police said.
Rinehart was taken by Taneytown Volunteer Fire Co. ambulance to Carroll County General Hospital, where he was treated and released.
OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE BLAST
State fire officials on Friday still were investigating an explosion that rocked a Klees Mill Road home early last week.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said investigators were puzzled at the cause of the 3:14 a.m. explosion, which blew out windows in the home's living room and bedrooms.
Thomas said the one-story wood-frame duplex in the 300 block of Klees Mill Road is the home of Stephen and Dorothy Robinson and their son, Alexander Feldman.
The explosion, which jarred the Robinsons and Feldman out of sleep but did not injure them, also caused a flash fire in the bathroom, Thomas said.
Stephen Robinson put out the fire with a small portable fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived, Thomas said.
Twenty-five firefighters from Gamber, Sykesville and Winfield responded to the explosion with six pieces of fire equipment, he said.
The unexplained explosion caused $20,000 in damage to the duplex and its contents, he said.
The home on the other side of the duplex, owned by John Kagarise, was not damaged by the blast.
State fire investigator Frank Rauschenberg is investigating the incident.
CLERK ANGERED BY COMMENT
Carroll Clerk of Circuit Court Larry Shipley on Thursday said he was upset over published reports that large pay raises meant for state clerks and registers of wills were kept secret until after the Nov. 6 election.
Shipley, a former president of the State Clerk's Association who was re-elected to his fourth term in November, said that salaries for clerks were never voted on until after the election, and that the reports were "ridiculous."
State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein recommended the 25 percent pay raises during a meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works two weeks ago. Along with his recommendation, Goldstein said the incumbent clerks and registers of wills requested that their raises not be made public until after the general election so the higher salaries would not attract more challengers.