2 Charged In Break-in

Police and fire scan

March 11, 1992

FINKSBURG — State troopers arrested two men Monday night on charges of breaking into several storage lockers at 140 Mini-Storage here.

Police charged Ernest Lee Robertson Jr., 18, of the unit block of Sycamore Street in Westminster with breaking and entering, theft, and malicious destruction of property. He is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $20,000 bond.

Police also charged a 17-year-old juvenile, who was released to the custody of his parents.

Troopers responded to a burglar alarm from the storage company at 8:48 p.m. A trooper who arrived at the scene saw two men on a blue motorcycle leaving the storage lockers. He chased the men for about five miles down Old Westminster Pike to Sandymount Road. The troopers called in the police helicopter from Frederick, which searched unsuccessfully for the two men.

A resident on the 1700 block of Old Westminster Pike called to report that two suspicious men had asked to use his telephone. He also told the troopers that the men were on foot.

Troopers located the two men and placed them under arrest.

According to the incident report, the burglars broke into the locked storage compound and attempted to break into three storage lockers. They also damaged the lockers by spraying a fireextinguisher on them, troopers said.

BOMB SUSPECT CHARGED

DATELINE: WESTMINSTER

WESTMINSTER -- An arrest warrant has been issued for David William Smith, who is charged with building four pipe bombs thatexploded in the Hampstead area March 4.

The fire marshal alleges that Smith, 28, of the 1300 block of Pleasant Valley Road, and an unnamed juvenile purchased the materials to build the bombs from two area hardware stores.

On March 4, the fire marshal said, Smith purchased pyrodex, an explosive, from the Deep Run Ace Hardware Store in Manchester. He also purchased safety fuses and four galvanized pipes with end caps at the Ace Hardware Store in Hampstead's Robert Fields Shopping Center, the marshal said.

That evening, several mailboxes and a cable junction box were damaged by pipe bombs. Investigators were able to trace remains of the bombs to the purchases made at the twohardware stores. They then traced those purchases to Smith.

On Friday, police interviewed Smith and searched his motorbike. In the compartment below the motorbike's seat, police say they found an exploded pipe bomb, which they confiscated.

Smith was charged with possession of a pipe bomb, possession of a pipe bomb with the intent to frighten, possession of pyrodex without a license and assembling a pipe bomb. If convicted on all the counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison and $40,000 in fines.

STATE TROOPERS REVIEWED

Despite budget cuts and a drop in morale among resident troopers, response times to calls in the county averaged eight minutes, the commissioners were told Tuesday.

1st Lt. Kenneth L. Tregoning, commander of the Westminster barracks, told the commissioners that trooper response times were about two minutes shorter than other emergency response times in the county.

Even though troopers have suffered a numberof budget cuts, Tregoning said, the complement serving Carroll remains at 43 and has "been functioning very well." He warned the commissioners, however, that if there are moves to further reduce the size ofstate agencies in order to balance the budget, "Maryland state troopers will not be excluded."

In reviewing the crimes committed in 1991, he said reported rapes dropped 39 percent. Breaking and entering as well as assaults were also down. Motor vehicle theft and petty theft rose, as did arrests for driving while intoxicated.

Tregoning said that traffic citations declined. In mid-year, Gov. William DonaldSchaefer reduced trooper levels and eliminated several barracks.

MANARRESTED FOR DRUGS

DATELINE: WESTMINSTER

WESTMINSTER -- Westminster police stopped Paul James Kortisses Jr., 31, early Tuesday for driving while intoxicated and discovered cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his car, according to court papers.

Police stopped him at the intersection of routes 140 and 27 after seeing him cross the center line. They said they searched his car and found scales oftenused in weighing drugs, plastic bags and a bottle of a compound usedto cut cocaine.

Kortisses was charged with one count each of possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In addition, police also charged him with failure to use a seat belt, driving while intoxicated and failure to drive to the right of the center line.

He was held in the detention center in lieu of $20,000 bond.

CAR IS REAR-ENDED

DATELINE: WESTMINSTER

WESTMINSTER -- A two-car accident Saturday morning tied up traffic at routes 140 and 31 and sent two motorists and a passenger to the hospital, police said.

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