Car thief faces 13 years in prisonA 23-year-old Ellicott...

July 09, 1996

Car thief faces 13 years in prison

A 23-year-old Ellicott City man faces 13 years in prison for stealing seven cars from Howard, Carroll and Montgomery County streets and park-and-ride lots in the past two years.

Christopher M. Kelly targeted cars and trucks made by General Motors, popping ignitions and shattering steering columns to make off with the vehicles, said Assistant State's Attorney Cindy Johnson. "His attorney said it was for drugs," Johnson said.

During the past three months, Kelly has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in Howard County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison for five felony thefts and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Kelly also was convicted of stealing a car in Carroll County in July of 1995, receiving a five-year sentence with all but three years suspended.

In Howard County, the cars were stolen from Main Street in Ellicott City and the park-and-ride on Route 175, Johnson said.

Woman, 85 robbed while entering home

An 85-year-old woman was robbed of cash Friday while carrying groceries into her home -- the third such robbery of an elderly person in Ellicott City in three weeks, Howard County police said.

The victim, Mary Koontz of the 3500 block of Split Rail Lane was not seriously injured in the robbery, police said.

About 10 a.m. Friday, Koontz was walking into her home with groceries when a man with a sweat shirt pulled over his head overpowered her and took an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

Koontz told police she saw the suspect -- a black male about 20 years old with a medium build and about 5 feet 5 inches tall -- driving a blue, four-door, midsized car in the neighborhood.

Koontz's case is similar to two other daytime robberies of elderly women in Ellicott City communities near U.S. 29 and U.S. 40 in recent weeks. Police are not sure whether the same person committed all three.

Last Tuesday, a man approached an 86-year-old Ellicott City woman sitting in her car in the 3000 block of N. Ridge Road. The robber reached inside the car, snatched her purse and fled.

On June 19, a man grabbed a 69-year-old Ellicott City woman's purse from her arm as she entered her apartment building in the 8700 block of Town and Country Blvd., police said.

Pub Date: 7/09/96

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