Crime & Courts

CRIME & COURTS

October 23, 2008

Police eye rape suspect for tie to earlier assaults

Baltimore County police were trying to determine whether a Baltimore man charged in the recent rape of a Towson University student has assaulted other victims, officials said yesterday. Citing the violent nature of the Oct. 6 rape of a 21-year-old woman near Towson University, police said they believe Ian Alexander Murphy, 24, may have sexually assaulted victims who have not come forward. Murphy may have been in the Towson area for several weeks before the attack, said police, who did not give further details on the investigation. Police said the woman was attacked when she was unloading groceries outside her building in the 7900 block of Knollwood Road and forced to go to a nearby location, where she was raped. Anyone with information about Murphy or other crimes is asked to call police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587).

From Baltimore Sun staff reports

Harford County man charged with extortion

A Harford County man has been charged with extortion after he was accused of demanding money from the winning bidder in a home foreclosure auction. Frank Wilhelm, 48, of Edgewood telephoned the winning bidder one day after the auction and threatened to challenge the sale unless he was paid $5,000, authorities in Cecil County said. Challenging the sale would have frozen the bidder's payment, possibly for months, said Lt. Bernard Chiominto of the Cecil County Sheriff's Office. Wilhelm was arrested last week in Perryville after the winning bidder contacted police and helped them set up a sting.

Associated Press

Internet check scam nets 1-year prison term

A former Waldorf man was sentenced to a year in federal prison yesterday for his role in an Internet scheme designed to steal $109,000 from Andrews Federal Credit Union, based in Suitland. According to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office, Tyron Lydale Johnson, 35, deposited a counterfeit $90,000 check into his credit union account, withdrawing enough money to buy a 2004 Ford Expedition, a $5,000 diamond ring, electronics and a vacation to Georgia. He later deposited a $19,000 check that never cleared.

Tricia Bishop

Two charged in burglaries in Harford, Cecil counties

Two people have been arrested in connection with a string of home burglaries in Harford and Cecil counties, Maryland State Police said yesterday. Police said that Robert Dean Sheetz, 31, of Darlington and Kimberly Ann Hamm, 24, of Elkton were arrested Tuesday after a three-hour burglary spree that started in Street and ended near Colora in Cecil County. Police said that three houses were burglarized and that a dog deterred a burglary at another residence. Authorities said that the pair were arrested after being stopped on Interstate 95. State police, along with sheriff's deputies from Cecil and Harford counties, said they seized numerous pieces of property reported stolen, including jewelry and electronics. from Sheetz' home and car. Sheetz and Hamm were taken to the Cecil County Detention Center. Hamm is being held on $10,000 bond. She has been charged with two counts of burglary, theft and conspiracy to commit theft. Sheetz is being held on $15,000 bond and has also been charged with two counts of burglary, theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

David Kohn

Mother indicted on charge of attempted murder

The Calvert County woman suspected in the deaths of her two adopted daughters was indicted this week on attempted murder charges in the abuse of a third child, according to online court records. Renee Bowman, 43, also faces assault and child abuse charges after her 7-year-old adopted daughter was found battered and bruised by neighbors in Lusby last month. Bowman was arrested, and police say she admitted losing her temper and beating the girl with a hard-soled shoe. The girl told a neighbor that she had been locked in her bedroom and that she jumped out of a window to escape. Police said they believe that remains subsequently found encased in a freezer at Bowman's home are those of her other two adopted daughters, and that Bowman admitted storing their bodies there after she moved to Rockville in February. Montgomery County police have not charged Bowman in those deaths but are continuing to investigate. She is being held without bond.

From Sun staff and news services

City homicide suspect arrested at Va. gun store

NORFOLK, VA. : A Southwest Baltimore man was arrested in Norfolk on Tuesday after he tried to purchase a gun and the background check turned up an outstanding homicide warrant in Maryland. Barry Cleveland Roberts, 46, of the unit block of Cobber Lane, Irvington, is awaiting extradition to Maryland. A Baltimore police spokesman said Roberts is a suspect in the fatal shooting of Baltimore County resident Darius Burton, 18, on Oct. 12 in the 4300 block of Davis Ave., Southwest Baltimore. Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Cotten said Roberts filled out an application Tuesday to purchase a gun at Bob's Gun and Tackle. The background check by the State Police Firearms Transaction Center in Richmond turned up the outstanding warrant in Maryland. Cotten said state troopers and a Norfolk police officer arranged to be at the store when Roberts returned.

From Sun staff and news services

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