Judge convicts burglar in theft of heirlooms Police suspected thief robber about 85 homes from Arundel to Delaware

August 07, 1998|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County circuit judge convicted a Prince George's County man yesterday in a string of thefts of heirlooms from Crofton homes.

Larry Marcus Johnson, 47, of the 11800 block of Thrift Road in Clinton was found guilty of 14 counts of felony theft during a

one-day, nonjury trial before Judge Clayton R. Greene Jr. Johnson was acquitted of a first-degree burglary charge.

According to court records, Johnson was involved in burglaries from Anne Arundel County to Delaware.

He was arrested by Bel Air police in August 1996 after officers on their way to a burglary call saw Johnson's car -- a turquoise Pontiac Grand Am loaded with antiques and heirlooms -- leaving the area with its lights off, according to Assistant State's Attorney Thomas J. Fleckenstein. Among the items found in the car was a Crofton burglary victim's pharmacy license, Fleckenstein said.

At the same time, detectives from Newark, Del., were in the area looking for a turquoise Grand Am that allegedly had been used in a string of heirloom thefts there. During questioning, Johnson told police he fenced the stolen goods -- coins, silverware and jewelry -- at a flea market in Aberdeen.

The detectives formed a joint investigation and searched Johnson's home in Clinton, his business office and his father's home in Aberdeen, and found more coins, jewelry and antiques.

Fourteen victims from Crofton identified property as theirs. Fleckenstein said that the items stolen from Crofton were worth about $100,000, and that police believe Johnson was involved in ZTC more than 85 burglaries in Delaware and in Anne Arundel and Harford counties.

"We're very pleased with this case," Fleckenstein said. "This was a neighborhood nightmare. He stole not only valuable items, but family heirlooms."

Pub Date: 8/07/98

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