In a remorseful letter to her mother, a 23-year-old pregnant woman accused of burglarizing her parents' home described how her heroin habit had overshadowed her sense of right and wrong.
"I'm sorry for everything that I have done to you," Crystal Ann Evans wrote in the letter, reproduced in court documents after her Feb. 14 arrest. "It really wasn't me, the drug took over my life!"
Evans is one of two women picked up by police in connection with a string of crimes in recent months in the Baltimore County countryside that prompted some residents to arm themselves. Evans was charged with first-degree burglary, a theft scheme and other counts, and was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. She is scheduled to appear in court March 11.
Baltimore County police didn't release information about the arrest until Thursday.
Asked by a police sergeant whether her boyfriend had helped her break into her parents' home, from which she had been barred, Evans replied, "No, I broke into the house myself, actually," according to the court documents. "I was too embarrassed for him to see that I was stealing from my own family. He just waited outside."
A police officer had been summoned Feb. 7 to the home of John and Joan Sippel in the 11900 block of Glen Arm Road in response to a burglary. A rear door had been forced open and, once inside, "the suspect used a butter knife to open the locked bedroom door," a police report said, noting that the knife was "commonly used" by members of the family to unlock that door. A small amount of cash and a $500 laptop belonging to Evans' sister, Tina, were taken.
Joan Sippel told the officer that she believed the person responsible was her daughter, who "is addicted to heroin" and had stolen items from the house in the recent past, according to the report. Another document said Evans was already being investigated for a "series of thefts committed over several months totaling more than $7,000 to the Sippel family and their business," Casper G. Sippel Inc., an electrical contractor.
Evans, listed by police as having no fixed address, was told by her family during the first week of January "not to return to the home unless someone was there with her," the court document said.
Police tracked the missing laptop to a pawnshop on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore, where it had been dropped off later on the day of the burglary. A clerk in the store told police that Evans had come in with two men.
Evans was arrested in Crofton a week after the burglary. She was taken to Baltimore County's Parkville precinct, where she wrote the letter to her mother. "I know I've said it plenty of times that I want to get clean and stay clean but this time I'm real about it," she wrote. "I really don't think jail is best for me but rehab. I want to go to rehab. I have a child on the way. ... I love you mom."
In an unrelated case, another woman has been arrested in connection with crimes in the same area. Angelena D. Richardson, 21, of Parkville was charged with 12 counts, including several for burglary, before being released in lieu of bail on Feb. 11.
A witness told police he saw two women in a gray car pull into the driveway of a house in the 9300 block of Waltham Woods Road shortly after midnight Dec. 27. Entry was made through a rear window. Among the items taken were two 46-inch televisions and two laptop computers, the police report said. One of the laptops, police said, was later recovered from Richardson's apartment on Solar Circle in Parkville.
Earlier that evening, two women, wearing jackets with the hoods pulled up, were captured in a surveillance video trying to break in to a house a few miles away in the 11310 block of Glen Arm Road, the report said. They used a flower pot and then a brick "in an attempt to break a window" but set off a burglar alarm, prompting them to run back to their car and speed away, according to the report.
Among the string of crimes recently in the area was an unrelated shootout Jan. 7 between a female homeowner on Glen Arm Road and a burglar. The burglar subsequently killed himself, police said.