Burglar strikes Schmoke's residence

$21,000 ring, other items are stolen

police boost patrols in neighborhood

January 10, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

The Northwest Baltimore home of former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was burglarized Monday, and a diamond ring worth $21,000 was among the items stolen, police said.

Schmoke could not be reached for comment about the burglary, which occurred in the 3300 block of Sequoia Ave. in Ashburton.

Police said they have stepped up patrols near the former mayor's house.

"We are paying special attention to the location," said Ragina C. Averella, a police spokeswoman. "We are making frequent checks of the area."

Police said Schmoke left his house at 8:30 a.m. but did not turn on the alarm system.

The burglary was discovered when Schmoke's sister-in-law went to the house at 5:15 p.m. and noticed that the front door "had been forced open," the report said.

The burglar went through the house and took a 14-carat gold ring with a pear-shaped diamond set in a mounting with six other "brilliant" diamonds, the report said. The ring was worth $21,000, police said. The burglar also stole a black Palm Pilot worth $300 and an IBM laptop that was valued at more than $500, police said.

The burglar then tried to leave through a side door but couldn't unlock a deadbolt, police said. Investigators believe the thief fled through the front door.

Schmoke, now a private attorney, told police he would submit a more detailed summary of his missing items, police said.

The report indicates police and city officials paid more attention to this burglary than most others. Mayor Martin O'Malley and two police majors came to the scene.

When Schmoke was mayor from 1987 through 1999, police stationed an officer outside his house 24 hours a day. Last night, a spokesman for O'Malley said the Schmoke residence has been under "a scaled-back" police detail since the former mayor left office.

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