Man held in a string of 'smash-and-grabs'

July 16, 2008|By John-John Williams IV

A 46-year-old man has been charged in a rash of "smash-and-grab" burglaries of Howard County businesses in recent months, police said yesterday.

Marvin Eugene Harding, of no fixed address, was arrested without incident by Howard County detectives at a residence in the 1900 block of Frederick Road in Baltimore on June 30.

Harding is charged with second-degree burglary in 16 incidents, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said, and additional charges are expected. He faces numerous felony destruction of property and theft charges, and investigators are continuing to link him to additional cases, Llewellyn said.

Harding is being held at the Howard County Detention Center without bond.

"While we are continuing the ongoing effort of solving the other cases, the detectives made the determination that they should let the commercial business owners know that he was no longer on the street," Llewellyn said of yesterday's announcement.

Harding was identified through surveillance video, Llewellyn said. Investigators uncovered more evidence linking him to other burglaries, though Llewellyn declined to provide details.

Police said they also recovered a vehicle in Harding's possession that was reported stolen in Columbia on June 7. Investigators said they believe it was used during several of the burglaries.

Since January, police have received 79 reports of smash-and-grab burglaries, which involve a heavy object being thrown through a window or glass door to gain access to a business. During a similar time span in 2007, police recorded 28 reports of such crimes.

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