Two Hampstead men charged with coercing youths to commit thefts Teen son of former officer accused of encouraging Roberts Field crimes

May 15, 1996|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Two Hampstead men, including the son of a former town police officer, have been charged with coercing two juveniles into stealing furniture for their condominium.

Hampstead police said Bryan Keith Steimetz, 18, and Curtis Allen Meeks, 18, are responsible for a rash of thefts last month in the Roberts Field development, in which lawn furniture, a grill and a basketball hoop were stolen.

Steimetz's father is Paul N. Steimetz, who resigned from the Hampstead police force last year after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in his home. Drug charges against the elder Steimetz were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

The younger Steimetz and Meeks, who shared a condominium in the 4200 block of Crystal Court, were charged last week with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors and 12 counts of conspiracy to commit theft.

Police said the condominium was owned by Steimetz's father.

"It was pretty clear these juveniles had been 'encouraged' to go forth and commit these thefts," said Hampstead police Sgt. Earl R. Horne Jr.

Steimetz was released from the Carroll County Detention Center on $10,000 bond; Meeks was released on $5,000 bond.

Police arrested Steimetz on April 27 in a string of thefts the evening of April 23 in Roberts Field.

Horne said two juveniles contacted Hampstead police April 29, saying they wanted to "confess" to the thefts. The youths said Steimetz had told them to admit to the crimes because he was facing prison, but that they could avoid jail in the juvenile court system, Horne said.

In their statements to police, the juveniles said Steimetz and Meeks ordered them to "go out and get stuff" to furnish the apartment or they would no longer be allowed to visit, Horne said.

The youths told police they took a basketball set, four plastic lawn chairs, a grill and a table from homes in Roberts Field development, court records show.

"The further I got into this, the more I was scratching my head," Horne said. "It became clear what they were doing, but why were they doing it?"

The youths were released into their parents' custody, pending action by juvenile authorities.

Horne said Hampstead police have received numerous calls about the apartment on Crystal Court shared by Steimetz and Meeks.

Neighbors have complained of drug-related activities, excessive noise and other disturbances at the residence.

"It's been awful; there's an average of 25 kids there every night," said a neighbor who asked that her name not be used.

"The police have been here a couple times a night for the past five or six weeks."

Pub Date: 5/15/96

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