Police discover weapons cache on routine call Resident reported burglar, arrested on drug charge

July 01, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A man arrested after a police officer reported finding marijuana in a North Baltimore house had a cache of weapons and police uniforms, as well as a makeshift firing range in his basement, police said yesterday.

The man, identified as Derek J. Propalis, 46, called police about 10: 30 p.m. Monday to report a suspected burglar at his house in the 500 block of Beaumont Ave. in Govans. Police found no burglar but reported seeing marijuana in his house.

A further search, police said, revealed six handguns, a semiautomatic assault rifle, boxes of ammunition, gun belts and uniforms closely resembling those of the Baltimore and Baltimore County police departments, the State Police and the Baltimore Sheriff's Office.

Maj. Robert Novak, commander of the Northern District station, said his officers also found a makeshift firing range in the basement made of telephone books propped against a wall. He said there have been "anonymous calls for discharging in that area" but officers had never been able to locate the source.

Propalis was arrested and charged with drug possession and discharging a firearm in the city limits. He was being held at the Central Booking and Intake Center awaiting bail.

Police seized the guns and other police items, and Novak said they will await further investigation to determine if more charges are warranted. He said the uniforms appeared to have been bought at a private police supply store and differed slightly from what officers are given by the department.

Novak said the suspect cooperated during the investigation. "We don't know if he's just a collector or a police buff," Novak said.

Pub Date: 7/01/98

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