Man is charged in 9 burglaries in Balto. County

March 11, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A man police say may have used a CD-ROM list to choose his victims was charged in nine Baltimore County burglaries dating to August, and police are investigating whether he was involved in Pennsylvania thefts.

James Prentice Barnard, 55, of the 900 block of Dartmouth Road was arrested early Saturday after burglary detectives served a search warrant at the home he shares with his mother in Baltimore.

In Barnard's portion of the house, according to police, officers found jewelry and papers linking him to nine burglaries -- and a computer printout that contained the names and addresses of some of the victims.

"He had a commercially available CD-ROM package claiming to list more than 250 million names and addresses," said Baltimore County police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Novak. "We are assuming he was possibly using that to select victims."

Novak said that some of the computer printout addresses were in Pennsylvania, and Baltimore police were checking with counterparts in southeastern Pennsylvania to see if similar burglaries had been reported there.

A complete estimate of the total value of the stolen items was not available yesterday, but preliminary estimates by detectives showed at least $30,000 in jewelry and silver had been stolen.

Novak said that although some of the stolen items were found in Barnard's home and car, the great majority were missing, and police are investigating where they might be.

Novak said Barnard, who was released from prison last year after being convicted of daytime housebreaking in 1983, was a self-employed graphic artist working from his home. He was placed under surveillance in October when he first became a suspect in a September burglary, Novak said, but exhibited no suspicious behavior when detectives trailed him.

This month, a burglary was reported in the first block of Tigreff Court in Carney. Witnesses gave police a description that matched Barnard, and a description of a van, Novak said. Police obtained a search-and-seizure warrant that led to Barnard's arrest over the weekend.

He is being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center on $150,000 bail, according to police.

Pub Date: 3/11/98

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