Howard Co. burglar found guilty; charged in eight other incidents

Columbia man found guilty of stealing jewelry in May

February 07, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

A 34-year-old Columbia man who has been charged in nine separate burglaries throughout Howard County was found guilty Monday by a Howard County Circuit Court judge for stealing jewelry valued at more than $10,000 from an Ellicott City residence last May.

Charles Kurtinitis, of the 8600 block of Skyrock Court, will be sentenced by Judge Diane O. Leasure in April and faces up to 20 years in jail for first-degree burglary. Kurtinitis was also charged with second- and fourth-degree burglary, as well as theft.

Though police never recovered the diamond engagement ring and wedding ring taken from Pamela Desmond's jewelry box, a piece of costume jewelry belonging to Desmond was found in the backpack of one of Kurtinitis' two accomplices during a traffic stop. Police had followed Kurtinitis after getting a tip from one of Desmond's neighbors, who had spotted Kurtinitis in the car a few hours before the theft was reported.

One of the accomplices, Shannon Sears, told prosecutors of her involvement with Kurtinitis and his brother, Kevin, in a string of burglaries throughout the county. Sears, who is in jail in Anne Arundel County on burglary charges, worked a plea deal in exchange for her testimony. Kevin Kurtinitis will have a motions hearing in Howard County later this week.

Prosecutors said that Kurtinitis had broken into Desmond's home through a basement window.

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