Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

December 12, 2006

Fire at cantina ruled arson

A three-alarm fire that forced 200 people from a popular Hanover nightspot has been ruled arson, Anne Arundel County fire investigators said yesterday.

The blaze, which sent one firefighter to the hospital, was discovered at 9:25 p.m. Dec. 2 in a second-floor storage room at Cancun Cantina on the 7500 block of Old Telegraph Road, said Lt. Frank Fennell.

Fennell declined to discuss details of the arson ruling or say whether an accelerant was used.

No employees or patrons were hurt. The cost of the damage was estimated at $1.5 million.

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-222-8477.

Andrea F. Siegel

17-year-old fatally shot

Police were investigating yesterday the death of a 17-year-old boy who was shot near his East Baltimore home late Sunday and died after a friend drove him to Johns Hopkins Hospital, a department spokesman said.

Guiliano M. Santos, who lived in the 600 block of N. Ellwood Ave., was shot on that street about 9:30 p.m. after he got out of a white Ford F-250 pickup, police said. Immediately after the shooting, someone put him back in the truck and he was driven to the hospital, where he died about 10 p.m., police said. He had been shot "numerous times" in the arms and torso, police spokesman Agent Donny Moses said.

The person who drove Santos to the hospital abandoned the truck at the hospital and ran away. Police could not yet say whether the vehicle had been stolen, and detectives are seeking the driver for questioning.

Moses said that Santos had had some trouble with fighting at Harbor City High School recently and had been suspended. On Sunday night, Santos received a call from a friend to go to the area where he was shot, Moses said.

Detectives are seeking information about possible suspects and a motive in the attack.

Gus Sentementes

Guilty plea entered in theft

A former payroll tax supervisor has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $50,000 from her employer in Hanover, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Kimberly Ann Whitacre, 35, of Pasadena manipulated the computerized salary and payroll tax system at Allegis Group, a staffing company, so that between 1998 and 2003, the company ended up paying $51,182 of her federal and state withholding taxes, according to the attorney general's office.

She pleaded guilty Friday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to one count of felony theft scheme and made restitution in court, said Assistant Attorney General Kate O'Donnell.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of five years, with all but six months suspended, followed by three years of supervised probation when she is sentenced Feb. 6 by Judge Joseph P. Manck. The defense is expected to ask for a lesser punishment. The maximum sentence is 15 years.

Andrea F. Siegel

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