Man charged with stealing Battle Acre Monument Park gates

A Dundalk man has been charged with stealing and scrapping the historic wrought-iron gates at Battle Acre Monument Park that were reported missing in June, Baltimore County Police said.

Detectives have charged George Elias Sotirakis, 34, in the theft, after detectives said he was spotted on surveillance video, and identified through information from local scrap yards.

As for the gates, "unfortunately the gates are gone forever," police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said.

The 100-year-old spiked gates had long adorned the park's North Point Road entrance, and were placed during a previous improvements to the park in 1914. The park is part of the field where the Battle of North Point was fought in 1814, and was being restored in time for September's celebration of the War of 1812 bicentennial. While construction was being done to the fence, a volunteer reported they were missing and the theft was later reported to police on June 30.

Baltimore County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said the gates will be replaced but that the county is still working out the details.

Police said the gates cost $4,000 to replace but were worth $10,000 because of their historical significance.

According to charging documents in a separate case, police charged Sotirakis after employees at JNA Painting on Eastern Boulevard reported that more than 100 ladders, mostly aluminum, valued at $4,400, were stolen between June 9 and June 12.

Officers found that some of the ladders had been taken to the Terrapin Recycling on Rolling Mill Road, where an employee identified Sotirakis. They said he received $91.35 for recycling some of the ladders.

Police found the ladders at the facility with the company's initials on them but said they had already been destroyed beyond use.

Neither JNA nor Terrapin Recycling employees could be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Sotirakis, of the 2500 block of Woodwell Road, is charged with theft from $10,000 to under $100,000, and has been released on $50,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

The department's Pawn, Precious Metals and Scrap Metal Team continues to investigate.

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