County police arrested a Derwood man yesterday in connection with the rape of a 38-year-old woman, who was attacked at gunpoint in her Highland home Monday morning, county police said.
Arrested was Robert Kenneth Focht, 27, who surrendered to state police in Hagerstown yesterday afternoon. He has been charged with first-degree rape, robbery with a deadly weapon, and burglary, police said.
Focht had been employed at the woman's house as a yard worker forthe past two weeks, police said.
The woman reported that she had just returned to her home on Highland Road at 8:30 a.m. after runningan errand when a man wearing gloves grabbed her from behind, police said.
A police report said that the man pointed a gun at the side of her head and ordered her into a nearby bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her. The man then took an undisclosed amount of money from her purse and left, police said.
The victim was treated at Howard County General and released, police said.
Police said the woman recognized Focht's voice and identified him as the rapist. Police charged Focht through a warrant, and he surrendered to police in Hagerstown a short time later.
Focht was expected to be transferred to Howard County last night.
EXTENSION CORD STARTS FIRE MONDAY
A fire caused by an overloaded extension cord caused about $200,000 in damage Monday to a Marriottsville home, forcing a family of four from the residence, a state fire marshal said.
The fire began about 3:55 p.m. in a single-family home in the 1400 block of Marriottsville Road. Thefront of the building was badly burned, and smoke damaged property in every room, a fire report said.
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Robert B. Thomas Jr. said the blaze was caused by an overloaded electrical extension cord that caused a wall socket to short-circuit.
The home belongs to George Schaffer and his family.
ARMED PAIR BREAKS IN, ROBS APARTMENT SAFE
Two men, one armed with a silver handgun, robbed a safe from a Columbia condominium Saturday after forcing their way past a tenant, county police said.
A female resident of the 5900 block of Tamar Drive reported that a man knocked at her door at 1:30 a.m. and asked to use her phone because his car had broken down,police said.
The woman told him that he could not come in and told him to go away. A few minutes later, the man knocked again and saidhe had an emergency and desperately needed to use the phone, the woman told police.
After she opened the door a few inches to look outside, the man forced his way in, police said. A second man ran in behind him and pointed a gun at the woman.
The two men searched the apartment and removed a small safe containing unknown valuables, police said.
The woman was not injured.
A compilation of some of the crimes reported to Howard County police:
10900 block of Eight Bells Lane: Sept. 25, a 10-speed bicycle was stolen sometime overnight from a locked garage.
9100 block of Bourbon Street: Sept. 27, a prowler who had broken into a home was scaredoff at 3:05 p.m. by a neighbor.