Four Columbia teens charged in string of commercial burglaries

Thirteen of the 16 burglaries occurred in Columbia

Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com

4:21 PM EST, January 28, 2013


Four Columbia teenage boys have been arrested in connection with a string 16 commercial burglaries that occurred over a three-month period in Columbia and Elkridge.

The four juveniles —  ages 13, 17 and two 14-year olds — were not identifed by Howard County Police.

Police also have charged one adult, Charles Rodriguez, 24, of Columbia, with attempting to sell stolen jewelry from one the incidents to a business at the Columbia mall.

Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said some combination of the four teens are believed to be involved in all 16 incidents, which began Nov. 6 and ended Jan. 22.

The incidents the four are accused in include:

Items stolen from the businesses included a safe, cash, stereo equipment, knives, jewelry, a laptop and an ATM machine, according to police. 

The safe and the ATM were found destroyed near the scene of the burglary, police said. 

According to a news release, evidence found at the scene of the Jan. 3 robbery of Cradlerock Mart led investigators to identifying the suspects.

Police said following the robbery Jan. 22 of J&D Jewelry, during which the burglars gained entry to the store by breaking into a neighboring business and hammering through the wall, police notified local jewelers to be aware of individuals selling silver jewelry.

One day after the robbery, Monica Jewelers in The Mall in Columbia notified police that Rodriguez and the 17-year-old were attempting to sell jewelry taken in the J&D burglary, police said.

Both were arrested at the scene.

The other three teens were arrested on Jan. 24 after police served search warrants on their homes, police said.

Rodriguez was released on $7,500 bond. The status of the four teens was not released by police.