Suspect in cleaners' burglaries is held again after posting bond

December 09, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Steven W. Tipton was almost a free man.

Tipton, a suspect in a recent rash of rooftop burglaries in Central Maryland, was arrested and charged Dec. 1, accused of attempting to break into a Northern Virginia dry cleaner.

He posted a $10,000 bond early Tuesday morning and was released from the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. About 6 p.m., he went to the impoundment lot with his girlfriend to retrieve his car - but the car would not start.

Tipton became upset and started to cause a "disturbance," according to Fairfax County police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings, though she said she could not elaborate on his actions. When police officers responded to the scene, they checked Tipton's name in criminal databases and found that an arrest warrant had been filed by Anne Arundel County that day, after Tipton had been released on bond, Jennings said.

The upshot: The officers arrested the 33-year-old man.

Police departments in several counties - including Howard, Baltimore, Montgomery and Anne Arundel - are investigating Tipton, 33, in a rash of rooftop burglaries in October and last month. More than 15 dry cleaners in the region were burglarized by someone who climbed onto roofs, bent fan blades and slid down ventilation shafts to gain entry.

Sgt. Shawn Urbas, an Anne Arundel police spokesman, said a warrant for Tipton was issued this week. He said police have charged Tipton with second- and fourth-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property in two cases in which dry cleaners were burglarized.

Tipton, a Montgomery County resident with criminal convictions for burglarizing businesses, was held without bond yesterday at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on the Anne Arundel warrant, pending his extradition to Maryland, Jennings said.

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