Brian Michael Bumbrey, described by county police as a "good cat burglar" who was the key suspect in dozens of burglaries in Columbia, was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison.
Bumbrey, 24, had pleaded guilty to one count of breaking and entering an apartment on Majors Lane in the Village of Long Reach June 12.
As part of a plea agreement, Bumbrey has agreed to ride with county police to identify other places he broke into or attempted to break into.
"The police department has an interest in being able to close these open cases," said Bumbrey's public defender, Carol A. Hanson.
She said no further charges would be brought against Bumbrey relating to a string of 37 burglaries last summer.
Hanson also requested that Circuit Judge James B. Dudley, who sentenced Bumbrey, writea letter recommending that Bumbrey serve his sentence at Patuxent Institution so he can take advantage of rehabilitation programs offeredthere.
Bumbrey is being housed at a Department of Corrections facility at Patuxent but is not eligible for such programs there, Hansonsaid.
He is already serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for burglary and theft at a home in Kings Contrivance, where sunglasses, tennis shoes and cash were stolen. Bumbrey will serve yesterday's sentence afterhe completes his current one.
Police suspected Bumbrey of committing the rash of break-ins last summer, all near the bike paths of villages in east Columbia.
The burglaries followed Bumbrey's May 21 escape from a drug rehabilitation clinic in Prince George's County.
While police searched for Bumbrey, he fled to San Diego. San Diego police arrested him June 20 and returned him to Maryland in August.
A thief fitting Bumbrey's profile was sought in connection with approximately 50 burglaries in the east Columbia villages between Aug. 25and Oct. 31, 1989.
In both series of burglaries, police found thecapture of the thief difficult because of his athletic ability and atalent for darting onto nearby bike paths before disappearing into the woods.
Although police believed Bumbrey to be responsible for the break-ins, they had insufficient evidence to charge him for most of the crimes, said assistant state's attorney Lillian P. Clark.
"He's an intelligent man," Clark said. "If he wasn't bright, he wouldn't have eluded them for so long."