Robbery suspect leaves behind a critical piece of evidence Homeowner finds photo of woman in break-in

March 20, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Cleveland Jackson lost $3 and a handful of peanut butter cookies when his East Baltimore house was robbed. But it's what one of the suspects left behind that made the break-in truly baffling.

On the second floor of the ransacked rowhouse, Jackson found a crumpled color photograph of one of the suspects -- a woman who had ordered him upstairs and forced him to take off his pants while lying on the floor.

"Sometimes, when you do things wrong, that's a way of somebody saying you should be caught," Jackson, 77, said yesterday.

The break-in at Jackson's home in the 400 block of N. Chester St. occurred March 5 about 10: 30 a.m. Police released the photograph yesterday, saying they have not been able to identity the woman, who is smiling at the camera.

"That's the best you can get, a photograph of the person who did it," said Detective Paul Mitzel.

Jackson had just returned from the corner store, where he bought a dozen eggs, when he was confronted by a man and woman at his front door.

"I walked in and they walked in right behind me," said Jackson, adding that he repeatedly told the duo, "I ain't got nothing." He said the man "had his hand in his pocket. I never seen any weapon, but I wouldn't take a chance."

Jackson said he was forced to an upstairs room, where he was ordered to take off his pants -- a tactic often used during robberies to prevent the victims from giving chase -- and robbed of $3 that was in his pocket.

He said the two ransacked the house, taking a videocassette recorder and a stereo from his son's room -- and then left, snatching several peanut butter cookies on the way out.

"I was scared after it happened," Jackson said.

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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