Howard County police arrest suspect in alleged 'hamburglar' theft from Columbia McDonald's drive-thru

In a surveillance video released by Howard County police, a woman was caught peeking into the drive-thru window of a Columbia McDonald’s around 1 a.m. on Nov. 5, leaning in to fill up a soft drink — then climbing in through the window and stealing cash and a large box of food.

Howard County police say they have arrested a suspect they believe is the alleged “hamburglar” — a nickname they referenced for a woman caught on surveillance video climbing into a Columbia McDonald’s drive-thru window to steal food, a drink and money on Nov. 5.

Jessica Marie Cross, 27, of Springdale, was arrested Thursday morning and is charged with burglary and theft, Howard County Police said.


No phone number was listed for Cross, and family members could not be reached. Her charges had not been posted to Maryland’s online judiciary database as of Thursday afternoon.

About $1,400 in cash was missing from the fast food restaurant in the 8300 block of Benson Drive, and an employee told police she arrived to work to find cash registers “disturbed” and the office door open, police said.

The surveillance video showed a woman, whom police identified as Cross, peering into the drive-thru window, reaching in to pour herself a drink, then climbing into the window around 1 a.m. and spending about 35 minutes inside, according to the time-stamp on the video.

The McDonald’s was closed at the time, police said.

“Police believe Cross stole cash, a purse, food items and Happy Meal toys while in the business,” police wrote in the announcement of an arrest. “She is seen on video attempting to disable the surveillance system, wipe her fingerprints from the area and wash the cash drawers to remove her fingerprints.”

The department posted the surveillance video from the restaurant online, which they said drew multiple tips identifying Cross as a possible suspect.

Police said detectives compared the surveillance images to her Motor Vehicle Administration photo and discovered she owns a white Hyundai, which matched the car used during the heist.

Police said Cross agreed to turn herself in. Investigators are working to determine which tipsters may be eligible to receive part of the $500 reward money in the case, police said.