Escaped Inmates Caught

Police and fire scan

March 20, 1991

SYKESVILLE — Two inmates who escaped from a minimum-security prison camp Sunday night were captured by police in Carroll and Anne Arundel counties Tuesday morning.

Bradley Spitler, 19, of Belcamp, and William Edward Harlow Jr., 20, of Baltimore, fled the Central Laundry Facility in the 7300 block of Buttercup Road between 5:30 and 10 p.m., said Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

Shipley said the men jumped over an 18-foot razor wire fence after covering it with a blanket and a flannel shirt.

Five Westminsterpatrol units, a K-9 unit and a state police helicopter searched for the men after they were discovered missing at 10 p.m.

Spitler was apprehended at a minute after midnight Tuesday morning when troopers from the Westminster barracks went to his relative's home on Elger Street in Union Bridge.

The three troopers went to Spitler's relative's home with warrants for his arrest.

State police said Spitler immediately was taken to the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup.

Harlow was picked up by Anne Arundel County Police.

Spitler cameto the prison camp in June to serve four years for breaking, entering and theft.

Harlow has been in prison since August, serving 19 months for theft.

The maximum penalty for escape is 10 years, Shipley said.


WESTMINSTER -- The luck of the Irish ran out for at least 19 drivers in Carroll over St. Patrick's Day weekend, when they were arrested by state police for drunken driving.

A typical weekend sees six to eight people arrested for driving whileintoxicated, police said.

St. Patrick's Day this year surpassed New Year's Eve for drunken-driving arrests, police said.

The concentrated weekend patrols began at midnight Friday and continued through2 a.m. Monday, police said.

The patrols were funded by a special state grant.

Three drivers also were charged with possessing controlled, dangerous substances.


WESMTINSTER --An early morning fire at an underground utility substation Monday morning knocked out phone lines and computer systems for stores and businesses at Cranberry Mall.

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. spokesman Al Boyer said the fire started about 3 a.m. in a utility vault under Center Street and Route 140.

The vault contained the telephone wires that serve Cranberry Mall, Boyer said.

The cause of thefire is under investigation, Boyer said. He said investigators believed the fire might have begun when a light pole that was installed near the vault severed electrical lines.

About 700 telephone lines were shut down while the blaze was being fought, he said.

Boyer said C&P workers were preparing to cut out all the damaged equipment. Itwill be replaced by a temporary trailer filled with new equipment, he said.

Boyer said the fire caused "significant damage," but had no dollar estimate as of late Tuesday.


OWINGSMILLS -- Unknown suspects who set a fire that caused extensive damage to the Painters Mill Theatre early Monday morning may have been involved in a theft from a Carroll construction site, officials said.

Details were still sketchy late Tuesday, but officials believe the fire may have been set by an acetylene blowtorch after it was used to get into the building.

Officials believe the blowtorch also was used to break into the theater's safe, police said.

The torch and oxygen tanks were found near the safe, police said. Investigators are checking out tips to lead them to the burglars, including the theft ofthe oxygen tanks from an undisclosed Carroll construction site before the fire began.

Eleven fire companies fought the four-alarm blaze, including Carroll's Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire officials have estimated damage to the theater at more than $250,000.


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 two separate thefts at homes on Liberty Road in Eldersburg Feb. 4 and 5.

In the first case, police believe the suspects entered the home through through a rearwindow between 9:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Feb. 5.

Stolen from the home were a 35-mm camera, three lenses, a Sears VHS video camera and case and a container of silver coins.

In the second case, police said a home that was under construction was forcibly entered between 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 and 8:00 a.m. on Feb. 5.

The front door was damaged and then entry was gained by forcing open a window.

Nothing was stolen from the second home, police said.

Police believe the incidents are related.

If you have any information about this crime, or believe you may know who is involved, 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.


WESTMINSTER -- Two Carroll police officers -- one city police corporal and one state trooper -- have been award certificates of merit by a state officers association.

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