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Men sentenced for stealing a truckload of holiday packages in Columbia

Two package thieves were arrested and charged for driving around in a box truck and taking boxes from homes in Columbia.
Two package thieves were arrested and charged for driving around in a box truck and taking boxes from homes in Columbia. (Courtesy Howard County Police)

Two Baltimore men will spend the next few months in jail for stealing a truckload of holiday packages from Columbia doorsteps last year.

Amjad Jaouni, 29, and Ernest Ohanyan, 26, were sentenced Thursday in Howard County Circuit Court to four and five months in jail, respectively; both pleaded guilty to a single count of theft scheme between $1,000 and $10,000 in August.

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On Dec. 7, 2016, police were patrolling the Columbia area when they heard a call about two men who were driving around in a box truck and taking boxes from homes. A responding officer stopped the truck and found 75 packages inside.

Howard County police arrested two Baltimore men Wednesday night after as many as 77 holiday deliveries were stolen from residents.

Packages were stolen from 50 residences along 15 nearby streets — primarily from cul-de-sacs along Tamar Drive in Long Reach Village. Police officers redelivered the packages to owners the next day.

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During Thursday’s sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Susan Weinstein told the court it was “appropriate” for the two men to spend the holidays in jail following a crime “driven by pure greed.” According to a spokesman for the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, Baltimore defense attorney Domenic Iamele presented witnesses for the two men, including family members and employers, arguing against jail time since “no one lost anything.”

Jaouni received a 120-day sentence and a work release order, while Ohanyan was given an 18-month sentence, suspending all but five months, and must pay court costs. Ohanyan was also given two years of supervised probation after his release.

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