Police say evicted man tried to blow up building

August 21, 1996

An East Baltimore man accused of trying to blow up a Westminster apartment building was being held yesterday on $75,000 bail at the Carroll County Detention Center.

George R. Wench III, 28, of South Bouldin Street, was arrested Monday and charged with fourth-degree burglary, reckless endangerment and theft of apartment keys.

Police said Wench returned to his former residence in the first block of E. Main St. on July 29, six days after being evicted, turned on four gas stove burners without lighting them and left.

Two hours later, police and firefighters were called to the building to investigate a report of strong gas odor. They evacuated the building. No one was injured.

Police said the suspect told them he wanted to "run up the owner's gas bill" because he was angry at the landlord.

Westminster woman charged in theft conspiracy

A Westminster woman was arrested Monday on charges of conspiring with a live-in companion to break into Westminster businesses to steal money, jewelry and guns during May and June.

Paula E. Renehan, 26, of the first block of E. Main St. was being held yesterday on $5,000 bail at the Carroll County Detention Center, court records show.

Police said sheriff's deputies from Dare County, N.C., called after arresting the woman and her companion there June 24 on drug and traffic charges. Police allegedly found items stolen from Forget Me Not and Towne Shoe Repair, both East Main Street businesses in Westminster, in the car the couple was driving.

According to court documents, Renehan told deputies in North Carolina that her boyfriend, Steven C. Lafferman, 33, stole the items, including a safe containing $5,200.

Lafferman, who is fighting extradition, remains in jail in North Carolina, police said. He has been linked to other crimes in Baltimore, Frederick and Carroll counties, including the June 13 burglaries of the Kountry Kitchen Kafe and Bobby's Hobby Lobby, also on East Main Street in Westminster, police said.

Fire

Pleasant Valley: Firefighters responded at 7: 28 p.m. Monday to a fire alarm in the 2000 block of Hughes Shop Road. Units were out two minutes.

Pub Date: 8/21/96

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