Stakeout leads to quick arrest in robbery of couple

January 31, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

It was almost too easy for Officers Gary Manuel and Anthony Barkas to catch a suspect in a Northwest Baltimore break-in in which an elderly couple were robbed and tied to chairs inside their Cross Country home, after which their car was stolen.

A week after the home invasion, the officers said, they saw a man break into another house in Park Heights and load a pilfered television into the couple's stolen car. Manuel and Barkas quickly moved in and made an arrest.

"While we tried to catch the guy in one crime, he was doing another one," said Sgt. Jim Rood, who heads the Northwestern District's major-crime unit. Rood said the man denied stealing the TV.

It all started Jan. 22, when someone broke into a house in the 4100 block of Labyrinth Road in Cross Country, tied up a man, 85, and his 86-year-old wife with telephone cords, and stole $400, electronic equipment and the couple's 1985 Chevrolet Caprice.

Police said Barkas and Manuel were staking out Edgecombe Circle in Park Heights, about a mile from the couple's home, because the male victim had been assaulted there a month earlier and thought the incidents might be connected.

Thursday, Rood said, the officers saw a burglary in the 2800 block of Edgecombe Circle.

Michael Stokeling, 36, of the 4200 block of Labyrinth Road, who police said once worked for the elderly couple, was charged with armed assault and robbery in the incident Jan. 22 and with burglary in the incident Thursday.

Pub Date: 1/31/98

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