Police and fire scan



WESTMINSTER - An antiques theft investigation that began in Carroll County was expanded Friday to include the entire Baltimore metropolitan area, state police reported.

State police investigators and other law enforcement agencies -- including the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office -- are attempting to trace and confirm the ownership of dozens of antiques seized Thursday at the home of a Baltimore woman.

The woman was arrested Wednesday night in connection with the theft of more than $200,000 worth of furniture from Westminster Antiques on Spring Mills Road.

Julie Barnes Wilt, 32, of the 100 block of South Curley Street was charged by state police in Westminster with three counts of breaking and entering, one count of theft and one count of destruction of property.

Wilt was convicted in 1984 of killing her husband, Timothy Jules Wilt, during an argument. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison with six years suspended.

Court records show Wilt was released from prison Sept. 14, 1988 and placed on parole.

State police were first called to the Westminster antique store Sept. 6 after owner Emily Cannon Fink arrived and found that several items had been stolen.

Tfc. Charlene Jenkins and Tfc. Steven Burdelski were called back to the store Wednesday night after nearby residents reported a suspicious vehicle in the area, police reports show.

During a search of the area, police discovered Wilt in the bushes next to the antique store, where Fink also lives, police reports said.

After searching inside, the police discovered a wood panel in the back of the building had been broken.

Police said they also found several antiques stacked up on the back porch.

Wilt was being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.

State police believe Wilt falsely identified herself as a member of the Carroll County Historical Society during various antiques transactions, including the sale of the stolen goods.

Her aliases during these transactions included Julie Rebecca Wilt, Julie Witt, Julie Rebecca West, and Julie Rebecca Barnes, police said.

The state police are contacting antiques dealers and area pawn shops in an attempt to trace antiques. They also are asking anyone with information on the case to call them at 876-2101. All calls will be kept confidential.

ARSON ARREST MADE DATELINE: TANEYTOWN A 27-year-old Taneytown man was arrested late Monday and charged in connection with a fire at St. Mary's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Silver Run earlier the same day.

Robert Gene Taylor of the 400 block of Cherry Oak Court was charged with four counts of arson after two interviews with the state fire marshal's office. If convicted of the charges, Taylor could receive from 30 days to 20 years in prison and fines up to $500.

The fire, which caused about $4,000 in damage to the church, charred two wooden doors and inflicted smoke damage to the exterior stone walls, fire officials said.

Taylor was released on his own recognizance after the arrest.

IMPERSONATOR GETS PROBATION DATELINE: WESTMINSTER A 19-year-old Reisterstown man was placed on probation Friday and ordered to pay a $100 fine for impersonating a police officer.

Michael Norwood Griffin of the 1000 block of Cockeysmill Road was given probation before judgment by Circuit Court Judge Raymond E. Beck. If he successfully completes two years of supervised probation, no guilty verdict will appear on his record.

Beck also ordered Griffin to perform 100 hours of volunteer community service.

Griffin was arrested by Westminster City Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department and charged with several counts of impersonating a Baltimore County police officer and firefighter in December 1989.

He tried to stop a car on Route 140 and radioed the sheriff's department in Carroll County for assistance.

He also identified himself as a Baltimore County medic and assisted on two ambulance calls in the Pleasant Valley area.

In a plea agreement with the Carroll State's Attorney's Office, all but one of the charges were dropped.

ELDERSBURG MAN SENTENCED DATELINE: WESTMINSTER A 38-year-old Eldersburg man was given five years of supervised probation and ordered to do 50 hours of community service Friday after pleading guilty to beating his son.

Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck gave the man a 10-year prison sentence but suspended it and then placed him on probation.

He also gave the man probation before judgment on a count of battering his wife, and ordered him to pay $100 in court costs.

The man was originally charged in December 1989 with six counts of abuse. During his July trial, he admitted to he beat his 9-year-old son on the head, face, stomach, legs, shoulder and right arm just before the boy was supposed to leave for school on Nov. 7, 1989.

The man reported to police that the night before, he threatened his wife, his son's mother, with a knife when she refused to pick up the trash from a can he'd overturned. Police said he was angry that she threw away a coupon he was saving.

When the woman told her son to call the police, the man cut the phone lines, police reports show.

POCKETBOOK THIEVES SOUGHT DATELINE: WESTMINSTER City police are searching for two men who stole a Cockeysville woman's pocketbook while she was walking on East Main Street Thursday night.

The woman reported to police that the men came up behind her and yanked her pocketbook from her shoulder and then ran off.

One of the assailants is described as a black man in his 30s. He is described as wearing a white shirt at the time of the theft.

The other suspect is a white man with blond hair. The victim said he was wearing green shorts when the incident occurred.

Anyone with information is asked to call Westminster City Police at 848-4646. Callers can remain anonymous.

Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990

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