Sergeant loses police role in wake of indictment

Charged in Balto. Co. with insurance fraud

February 06, 2002|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

A Howard County Sheriff's Office sergeant who heads the department's criminal section has been stripped of his police powers and reassigned to administrative duties in the wake of a Baltimore County indictment charging him with insurance fraud.

A Baltimore County grand jury returned the indictment, which includes two felony charges - theft over $500 and insurance fraud - against Sgt. Bryan K. Waser, 28, of Mount Airy, on Jan. 30.

Waser, who also serves as Howard's sheriff's office spokesman, turned himself in at the North Point Precinct on Friday and was released on his own recognizance.

The charges stem from a claim Waser made with Allstate for a motorcycle he reported stolen in July 2000, according to investigators and court records. Prosecutors are alleging that Waser sold the bike but collected approximately $7,000 in insurance money, said Baltimore County assistant state's attorney Daniel Trimble.

The case came to the attention of authorities after a man went to the state Department of Motor Vehicles trying to register his motorcycle, investigators said.

Waser did not return a message left on his pager yesterday.

Maj. R. Scott Mergenthaler of the Howard County Sheriff's Office said Waser's police powers were suspended Friday. Waser will be placed on administrative duties, possibly phone work, when he returns from a two-week leave, Mergenthaler said yesterday.

Waser, who was hired as a deputy in August 1998, was promoted to sergeant last year. At the time of the indictment, he was serving as the sheriff's office public information officer and head of its criminal section, which includes the domestic violence unit and the fugitive/warrant unit.

Waser's duties have been temporarily reassigned, Mergenthaler said.

As supervisor of the fugitive unit, Waser was involved in the search for former Glenwood Middle School teacher Klaude Krannebitter, who failed to report in March for a six-month jail term for a conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Krannebitter was arrested last month.

Sun staff writer Joan Jacobson contributed to this article.

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