Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

WEST COUNTY --

February 01, 1993

Crofton Civic Association hires new police officer

The Crofton Civic Association has hired a police officer from Caroline County to fill a position that has been vacant for four months on its five-member force.

Jeffrey P. Shelton, 28, starts work this week and will earn $26,000 a year. The Salisbury resident worked 1 1/2 years for the Federalsburg Police Department, which had a seven-member force patrolling a community of 2,500.

Crofton's tax district has a $558,000 annual budget, about half of which is spent on the Police Department.

The vacancy occurred in October when Officer Joel Gordon resigned to manage a resort in West Virginia. More than 50 officers applied for the job.

Before becoming a police officer, Mr. Shelton served in the Marine Corps for nine years. He lives in Salisbury and will probably move to the area.

Fire in Harmans destroys home

A two-alarm fire destroyed a Harmans home Saturday morning and left a family of four, including two small children, without a place to live.

Firefighters responding about 8:45 a.m. to the two-story split-level house in the 1400 block of Fairbanks Drive found heavy smoke coming from the roof and windows.

The owner, Francesco Mastracchio, and his two children -- both under age 5 -- were standing outside. It took 43 firefighters operating 11 fire engines and ladder trucks 1 1/2 hours to bring the blaze under control.

Lt. Robert Kornmann, a spokesman for the county Fire Department, said the fire started in the basement. A smoke detector alerted Mr. Mastracchio, who was in bed but able to get his children safely outside before the fire engulfed the home. The man's wife had just left for work.

Lieutenant Kornmann said the house is valued at $145,000 and the contents are worth an estimated $90,000. No damage estimate was available Saturday, but the spokesman said damage was extensive.

He said the fire spread from the basement to the roof, damaging most rooms in between.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation on Saturday.

Vandals damage unoccupied house

Vandals who broke into an unoccupied new house in Severn did $50,000 in damage when they left the water running and broke walls on the first floor.

Investigators said the vandals broke into the house Thursday night in the 1800 block of Lorgnette Court and kicked holes in every panel of drywall, plugged up four sinks and left the water turned on, causing extensive damage to the carpet, walls and hardwood floors. The vandals also squirted silicone adhesive in the electrical outlets and kicked holes in the kitchen cabinets.

At 7:52 a.m. Thursday, Ryland employees found three inches of water in the basement.

Police have no suspects and the investigation is continuing.

POLICE LOG

* Fort Meade: Burglars broke into a home in the 7000 block of Wheeler Court Thursday. Police do not know exactly what was taken.

* Odenton: A resident of the 200 block of St. Michael's Circle reported to police that someone broke into her home Thursday. Police do not know exactly what was taken.

* Severn: Burglars broke into a home in the 1700 block of Richfield Drive and took a microwave oven valued at $300.

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