Thief slips in on the first snow to take a truck and 15 blowers

November 26, 1994|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writer

On the night of the season's first snowfall, someone stole a truck from a Towson business, then apparently used it to steal and haul away 15 snow blowers from the company next door.

Between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, when a light snow fell in the area, a 1987 or 1988 white GMC Forward Cab Truck with red lettering was taken from Roberts Co. Inc, a kitchen-cabinet distributor in the 1000 block of Cromwell Valley Road in Towson.

The truck, which the owner valued at $20,000, was used to deliver the cabinets and bore Maryland tag number 839-980, police said.

The thief cut an 8-foot-high, razor-topped fence separating Roberts Co. from N. J. Richardson and Sons, Inc., which sells tractors.

Fifteen snow blowers in for repair were taken from Richardson, police said. Employees valued them at about $1,500 each.

"That truck was most likely used to load up 15 snow blowers," said Officer Dawn Harris of the Towson precinct, who said the crimes happened about the same time.

"It's unusual; it's definitely seasonal. This is a large amount, and it is unusual to steal a truck from an neighboring business.

"I'd call it a mini-crime wave."

Officer Harris, who investigated yesterday with a detective, said tire tracks found near the gates led her to suspect that the crimes were linked. "There were obvious tread marks, so we cast them with plaster," she said. "We lifted them, just like a fingerprint."

The two businesses are in an industrial strip near Cromwell Valley Road and the Baltimore Beltway. Roberts Co. has been selling kitchen cabinets for about 40 years.

At N.J. Richardson and Sons, large orange tractors of all shapes and sizes are sold and repaired both inside and outside the one-story shop.

Both companies were closed when the robberies occurred.

The owners and police said the thief or thieves apparently cut through fencing between the two businesses and at a spot accessible to the street. A security bar was cut from the steering wheel, said warehouse supervisor Howard Manges.

Despite petty thefts, the company had not been robbed before, said its owner, Robert Feigelson. "I think there's nothing I can do about it," he said, adding that he moved the company from Baltimore to the county to escape crime.

Roberts now is without a Maryland delivery truck, but it might borrow one from its Washington branch or rent one, Mr. Feigelson said.

"They used their truck probably to haul our stuff -- that's what we think, anyhow," Richardson salesman Russell Bull said.

He said the Richardson business has been robbed before and that when he arrived at work yesterday, his reaction was: "They hit us again."

He said the owners of the snow blowers had yet to be notified.

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