Howard County Police have arrested two suspects in a pair of recent burglary at a local snowball stand. The two young men were charged for two incidents occurring during the last week of July. One on the 26th, and the other just four days later when the frozen treat shack was ransacked again. Police were assisted in the investigation by surveillance from the snowball stand and also a convenience store in close proximity to a hardware store where the stand is located. The footage showed that on 30th two males used bolt cutters to cut open a padlock on the front window of the stand and kicked in the door to gain access. While inside the two burglars tore the place apart looking for anything of value, and came away with cash from two of the registers. The exterior spotlight on the property was also missing. Footage from the convenience store on July 26th showed what police later identified as the same two suspects prying open a door to the shop at around midnight. On this night the burglars attempted to steal a safe but were unsuccessful, which no doubt motivated the duo to return.
Neither of the suspects are strangers to Maryland’s criminal justice system, as both appeared on a host of different charges. One of the suspects was granted a probation before judgment on a recent possession of marijuana charge and also had a prior burglary placed on the STET docket. These two prior cases did not result in convictions as the probation before judgment was terminated back in June, and the case on the STET docket is still inactive. The other suspect has been convicted of theft in the past, and also has a controlled dangerous substance or CDS conviction. The two young men face the same charges including two counts of both second and fourth degree burglary, theft, and malicious destruction of property. Second-degree burglary is a felony, while the other two charges are misdemeanors. In all likelihood the state will only go forward on one of the counts, most likely one of the burglary charges. It appears that the state will have enough evidence to at least formally file second-degree burglary charges, which require proof that the defendants braked and entered the store with the intent to commit theft. If the state goes forward on second degree then both cases will be transferred to circuit court. On the other hand if there is insufficient evidence of intent at a preliminary hearing or indictment preceding the case will stay in district court unless defendant’s attorney files a jury trial prayer.
We have seen more and more burglary cases solved directly as a result of businesses incorporating higher quality surveillance cameras. Even at night these cameras are able to produce clear pictures of suspects that would previously have been unidentifiable. The evidence obtained from these cameras is admissible in court as long as it is authenticated, and the fact finder will decide if the images actually depict the defendant in a trial. Benjamin Herbst has handled numerous theft and burglary cases where identification of the defendant was successfully challenged. Feel free to contact Benjamin for a free consultation about your case.