A 15-year-old Columbia youth arrested Thursday on burglary and felony theft charges is suspected in a string of 20 burglaries in the Beaverbrook and Longfellow areas of Wilde Lake over the last two months, county police said.
The youth, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was arrested Thursday night at his Columbia home following an investigation by police, said Detective Mike T. Sherman.
The teen was charged as a juvenile with burglary, felony theft and destruction of property in one burglary, Sherman said.
The boy was released to the custody of his parents.
At the home, police found stolen items hidden in the ceilings, attic, closet and in his bedroom, Sherman said. Among the items recovered were money, jewelry, camera equipment and a baseball card dating to the early 1900s, Sherman said.
"It's quite a bit," Sherman said of the recovered goods. "It's well over a couple thousand dollars (in value)."
Police believethe boy gave other items to friends to hold, Sherman said. Although they believe the 15-year-old acted alone, police anticipate more arrests of people who might have kept stolen items, Sherman said.
The burglar revealed no apparent patterns, Sherman said. "He really had no special time he'd go in. Just any way he'd get in, he'd enter, usually breaking through a window."
He said the teen-ager has cooperated with the investigation, telling police which homes he illegally entered. That information has allowed police to contact home owners andtell them to come to the Police Department to identify stolen goods,Sherman said.
Some of the burglaries had never been reported, he said, but police plan to charge the teen-ager in connection with all 20 burglaries.
Police believe a law limiting purchases by pawn shop owners may have prevented the accused burglar from selling the stolen goods.
"Normally, . . . a burglar tries to go to a pawn shop and get money," Sherman said. "But pawn shops won't accept goods from ajuvenile; you must be 18.