Escapee rampages on Shore Man suspected in 3 burglaries, sex assault, thefts

March 27, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A convict who escaped from a pre-release facility this week is believed to have gone on a crime spree in the small town of Church Hill, breaking into three houses, stealing two handguns and sexually assaulting a woman, state police in Queen Anne's County said.

Randy Eugene McBee, 38, who has convictions for robbery in Maryland and rape in West Virginia, remained at large last night. Police said he may be headed to Baltimore or to West Virginia, where he has relatives.

McBee escaped Tuesday from the minimum-security Eastern Pre- release Unit in Church Hill, located about 10 miles northeast of Centreville. He was reported missing to police after a security check by state correctional officials.

"It's a rural community, a real small country town. Everybody up there is quite concerned," said Lt. Benjamin Cohey, the commander of the Centreville state police barracks.

Lieutenant Cohey said police had called out a helicopter and K-9 units to search for the convict, but investigators now believe he left town in a stolen car.

McBee is suspected of burglarizing a home about a mile from the pre-release unit Tuesday and another nearby home the next day, police said.

Taken from the second home were two .38-caliber revolvers, about 100 rounds of ammunition and clothing, police said.

Yesterday about 8 a.m., a third break-in occurred at a Church Hill home, police said. The burglar pointed a nickel-plated Smith & Wesson revolver at a woman and a girl who live there, police said.

The gun matched the description of one stolen in the Wednesday burglary, police said. The intruder tied up both victims and another woman who arrived at the house later in the morning, police said. One of the women was sexually assaulted during the three-hour ordeal, police said.

When the intruder finally left the house, he took a four-door, tan 1990 Volvo 740 automobile belonging to one of the victims, police said.

McBee was convicted of unarmed robbery in February 1986 in Washington County. He was sentenced to five years but did not start serving time in Maryland until June 14, 1990, because he was serving a sentence for rape and robbery in West Virginia, police said.

He was sent to the pre-release unit on March 19, four days before his escape, correctional officials said.

Police have charged McBee in warrants with sexual assault, three counts of burglary, robbery and auto theft.

He is described as a white man about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair and a full beard. He has a large mole on his right ear and was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans, a blue ski cap and work boots.

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