Caution, but not alarm from neighbors after West Towson burglary, shooting

A day after a 65-year-old West Towson man was shot inside his Allegheny Avenue home when he interrupted a burglary in progress, residents of the neighborhood said the act of violence was certainly out of the ordinary for the residential community off Bosley Avenue.

"This is very unusual," said Jack Baggett, a West Towson resident, from his porch across the street from the park on Highland Avenue.

"Burglary is one thing," he said, "but shooting someone, that's a whole different matter."

Baggett has lived in the quiet neighborhood for more than 25 years, and said it consists mostly of families with children — who move out once the kids are out of school.

He learned of the shooting Sunday from a neighbor whose wife, Jackie Dressel, said she considered her home community one of the safest in Baltimore County.

Dressel said she heard the helicopters overhead Sunday morning and learned later from a member of the neighborhood association that there had been a serious incident.

But the burglary and shooting hasn't spoiled her opinion of the neighborhood, she said. Though she's always been careful to make sure the doors are locked in her home — especially with her 5-week-old son, Jackson, around now — she said she has no reservations living in the neighborhood.

Likewise, Caren Fisher, who lived nearby for eight years before moving to Timonium — but was nevertheless visiting Monday with her son at the playground on Highland Avenue — said it was a "very safe neighborhood."

She noted, though, that the proximity to downtown Towson makes the neighborhood a bit vulnerable to outsiders.

"We're very close to town, and people can easily access our neighborhood," she said.

Lauri Moylan lives and works in West Towson, and said she passed the crime scene, in the 500 block of Allegheny Avenue, on her way to church Sunday morning — but didn't think it was serious.

She learned later that she had passed the scene of a burglary gone wrong, in which one of her neighbors had been shot in the neck by an assailant who had broken into his house.

According to police reports, early Sunday morning, the 65-year-old resident arrived at his home to find it being burglarized, police said.

The man confronted the intruder, but the burglar forced him toward the basement, then shot in the back of the neck while standing in the stairwell, police said.

The burglar fled the house, and the victim was able to call 911.

Police said the burglar attempted to steal the man's car, but was unable because it was equipped with an anti-theft device.

Police arrived at the house at around 1:30 a.m. At that point, the homeowner was taken to an area hospital, where police say he is expected to make a full recovery from non-life-threatening injuries.

A resident of the neighborhood, who asked not to be identified, told the Towson Times that as the search for the burglar was occurring, he was returning home from a social function and discovered heavy police presence in the neighborhood.

He said he was told by an officer to go inside and lock his doors while the manhunt continued.

At around 4 a.m., a county police officer saw a person matching the description of the burglar run out from between buildings and into a Chevy Lumina parked near the corner of Bosley and Chesapeake avenues.

The officer pulled the vehicle over and found Bradford Steven Holup, 49 of Baltimore City, in the vehicle with items reported stolen from the house on Allegheny Avenue.

Holup was placed under arrest and was charged with attempted murder, first degree assault and first degree burglary in connection with the incident. As of Monday afternoon, he was being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

According to the police department, detectives are still working to determine exactly what was stolen during the incident.

They also said there is no known connection between the burglar and the homeowner and that the victim was not specifically targeted.

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