Burglars break in through apartment ceiling Ellicott City complex hit 3 times in last 2 weeks

November 02, 1997|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Burglars have been dropping -- literally -- into the highest-floor apartments at an Ellicott City complex.

Sgt. Steven E. Keller of the Howard County police said it appears the thief -- perhaps thieves -- first opens a stairwell access panel, crawls through a space above the apartment and then hammers a hole through the drywall ceiling.

During the past two weeks, three third-floor apartments at Town & Country Greensview/West on Town and Country Boulevard have been burglarized that way, Keller said.

"This is unusual," Keller said. "It's not a common method of entry. Usually, the top floor is the safest one."

Although the burglar or burglars may enter through the ceiling, a more conventional exit is made: through the front door. A total of $12,000 to $15,000 in goods were taken this way from the three residences, Keller said.

The apartments were robbed during the day, when residents weren't home, and such items as videocassette recorders, jewelry, cash and other valuables were taken, Keller said.

A manager at the sprawling complex of at least three-dozen buildings and hundreds of apartments refused to comment Friday about the spate of burglaries.

Police believe the same person or persons are responsible, and they are investigating.

Friday afternoon, at the apartment burglarized Wednesday, asecurity system was being installed. The resident, who declined to give her name, said she was upset about the burglary but didn't want to discuss it.

"If your home is ever broken into, you just don't feel secure anymore," said the woman, whose ceiling had been repaired. A piece of plywood covered the access panel outside her apartment door.

Police said a VCR, television, stereo, jewelry and a telephone were taken.

There have been a total of eight burglaries -- including the last three via the ceiling -- of apartments on Town and Country Boulevard since Jan. 1, Keller said.

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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