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Delaware man charged with burglary after being found at vacant Taneytown house

Jacob Daniel Burke
Jacob Daniel Burke

A Delaware man has been charged with burglary after allegedly forcing his way into a vacant Taneytown house Tuesday.

Jacob Daniel Burke, 51, of the 2600 block of Hartwood Cove in Millsboro, Delaware, is charged with one count each of fourth-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property valued at $1,000 or less, according to electronic court records.

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At about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the 4400 block of Baptist Road in Taneytown for reports of loud banging noises, according to charging documents. The deputy noted in the charging documents that he was aware of a home in that area that was vacant and for sale.

The deputy arrived near the home and saw the flashing lights of a truck near a pole located a short distance from the vacant home, and in the charging documents the deputy noted he could see a white man walking toward the deputy, a man who allegedly yelled “oh f---” as he did so.

The man was identified as Burke and, according to charging documents, police were familiar with his Chevy Silverado with Delaware plates from an unspecified investigation that took place a week prior. It is noted in the charging documents that Burke’s Delaware driver’s license is suspended.

The deputy noticed the for-sale sign for the vacant home had been pulled from the ground and thrown on the grass, according to charging documents, and also noticed the rear of the vacant home was open, with the lights off.

The deputy spoke with Burke while awaiting the arrival of a second police officer, and Burke allegedly said he had been staying with people in the area who began doing drugs. Infuriated by this, he had begun driving toward a dam located on the same property as the vacant house, according to charging documents. Burke said that he had been trying to leave the area but his truck would not start.

Burke’s truck appeared to be loaded with “all his personal belongings,” according to the charging documents, “as if he just moved from his home, or was without a place to live.”

After the arrival of the second officer, the initial responding deputy went to the back of the vacant home and saw that the back door had been kicked in, a piece of decorative lattice was broken off and the door jam was broken, according to charging documents. A real estate lock box hung from the door knob.

Burke then allegedly told police that he had been friends with the previous owner of the home, who had died, admitted he had kicked in the door and said he “was just trying to find a place to sleep,” according to charging documents.

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Burke was arrested and released Wednesday after posting $4,000 bail, according to electronic court records. He has a trial scheduled for Jan. 31 in Carroll County District Court.

Reached by phone for comment Thursday evening, Burke offered only, “Not guilty.”

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