Prowler Breaks In But Doesn't Steal

Police, fire log

May 29, 1991

A series of unusual break-ins this month in the Owen Brown village of Columbia has prompted police to ask residents to be on the lookout for suspicious characters in their neighborhoods.

The prowler has broken into three homes and attempted to gain entrance to four otherssince May 8, and in each case his motive did not appear to have beenburglary, said Sgt. Robert Adams, a county police spokesman.

"Nothing's been reported missing from any of the homes," Adams said. Early yesterday morning, the prowler entered a Setting Star home and touched a woman sleeping on her couch, Adams said. He ran off after the woman screamed.

"We don't have any rapes or anything like that yet, but we want people to know that this guy is out there," Adams said.

Police officers from the crime prevention unit will conduct a meeting Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Owen Brown community center. The purpose is to offer tips to residents on how to protect their homes, Adams said.

The prowler has gained entrance to some of the homes through unlocked doors and windows. All of the incidents occurred between midnight and 5 a.m.

Police said the prowler has broken into or attempted break-ins at homes on Farewell Road, Open Flower, Scarlet Petal and Pennacook Court. In some of the incidents, residents have confronted him and brief struggles ensued before he ran away.

No injuries have been reported in any of the confrontations, police said.

The prowler has not displayed a weapon in any of the incidents. Police ask that anyone who sees a suspicious person in their neighborhood call them at 313-2266.


Afire caused an estimated $15,500 in damage Monday to an Ellicott City home, county firefighters said.

The fire began at approximately 10:50 a.m. in the kitchen of a home in the 3600 block of MacAlpine Road and burned most of the room's furnishings. The home is owned by Thomas W. Flinn.

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread to the rest of the single-family home, a fire report said. No one was injured in the incident.

The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.


Approximately 35 people were forced to evacuate the Columbia Hilton early yesterday morning when a small fire burned a basement area of the hotel, county firefighters said.

The fire began at about 3:25 a.m. and caused an estimated $500 worth of damage in the basement. All employees and guests were able to escape without injury, said Lt. Michael Gearhart, a fire department spokesman.

Gearhart said the building was evacuated as a precaution. The 35 people were "whisked out of the building and into the rain" outside for about 15 minutes, he said.

The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.

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