5 teen-agers charged in Arundel theft ring

Police say stolen goods found in suspects' homes

Regional

December 09, 2003|By Molly Knight | Molly Knight,SUN STAFF

Five teens - including two 13-year-olds - have been charged in connection with a series of break-ins and other incidents over the past three months, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.

The charges - ranging from theft and burglary to armed robbery - came after a search of the suspects' homes turned up a cache of more than $50,000 in stolen property, including dozens of video games and consoles, jewelry, laptops, watches, cash and credit cards, police said.

"They did a lot of damage," said Arundel County police Sgt. Jeffrey Silverman.

Police believe the arrests - which began on Nov. 29 after two teen-agers were pulled over in a stolen vehicle - break up a ring they say is linked to 16 break-ins and three armed robberies.

Charged with a variety of offenses are the 13-year-olds and a 15-year-old, all from Severn, and a 16-year-old from Baltimore.

Being held without bail in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center last night was Anthony Manning, 18, of Severn. He is charged with three counts of armed robbery.

According to Detective Keith Light, investigators linked the burglaries last month when they began to see as many as three break-ins a weekend, all after nightfall in residential neighborhoods in Severn.

Light said the burglaries were carried out alike. Two or three young people would walk or drive through a neighborhood and one would knock on the front door of a house. If someone answered, they would pretend to look for a friend. If not, at least two would break in through a back window, while another stood guard outside, communicating with the others on a walkie-talkie.

Also, police said the group spent several evenings on the corner of Pioneer Drive, where three people had their cars stolen by masked robbers wielding what are believed to have been BB guns. All three vehicles were later recovered, one after being crashed and abandoned.

Although police had no physical description of the suspects, they had clues that the operation was not sophisticated.

The burglars "only stole small things they could carry or stick in their pockets," Light said.

The break in the cases came with the Nov. 29 stop of the teen-agers in the stolen car, which eventually led to the other three suspects. The 16-year-old was the only suspect charged in all the burglaries and the armed robberies.

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