Two charged in copper theft at Spring Grove

Men face burglary, theft, destruction of property charges

  • Dennis W. Dyer, left, and Matthew Blizzard.
Dennis W. Dyer, left, and Matthew Blizzard. (Provided photos )
May 16, 2012|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

Two copper-theft suspects arrested Tuesday on the Spring Grove Hospital Center campus in Catonsville have been charged with burglary, theft and destruction of property, according to Maryland State Police.

Police have also recovered more than 130 pounds of copper pipe the pair had collected before their arrests, which state police said would be worth about $400 if sold as scrap.

Charged were Dennis W. Dyer, 43, of the 8100 block of Mild Haven Road in Dundalk, and Matthew R. Blizzard, 29, who police believe lives in the Baltimore County men's homeless shelter off Wade Ave. on the psychiatric hospital's campus. They were both caught on the campus after county police received a report of two suspicious men with saws and crowbars walking around the campus at about 1:30 p.m.

Spring Grove Police Chief Raymond Foxwell and a lieutenant responded to the hospital's Hamilton Building, spotted Blizzard on the first floor and arrested him, police said.

They also saw Dyer climbing into an attic space at the top of the one story building, police said. They initially pursued him but stopped the search because of the darkness of the attic, police said.

County and state police responded and formed a perimeter around the building while they discussed potentially dangerous asbestos and lead in the building, and the best way to bring Dyer out, police said.

At about 6:35 p.m., a state police Special Tactical Assault Team Element, similar to a SWAT team, began moving through the building and threatening to unleash a police German Shepherd into the attic space, police said.

Ten minutes later, Dyer crawled out of a porthole in the building's roof and turned himself over to police, saying he was thirsty.

He'd been in the attic for hours.

Dyer and Blizzard have each been charged with second- and fourth-degree burglary, theft under $1,000, three counts of conceiving a theft scheme, and two counts of malicious destruction of property, state police said.

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