Police and fire scan



ELDERSBURG - Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help solve the Crime of the Week.

This week, the group is targeting the disappearance of Paul F. Hamby, a fugitive who is wanted in Carroll County on numerous bad check and fraud warrants.

He is described by police as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, with brown eyes and brown hair. He weighs 160 pounds and is 26 years old. His birthday is Dec. 15, 1963.

Police said he should be approached with caution because he may be armed and has previously resisted arrest.

If you have any information about Hamby or believe you may know where he is, please call Crime Solvers at 1-800-562-TIPS.

You do not need to give your name, and if your information leads to an arrest, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward.

PIPE BOMB DISCOVERED DATELINE: ELDERSBURG A homemade pipe bomb was found Sunday in the mailbox of a private home in the 1700 block of Pine Knob Drive.

State fire officials removed and disarmed the bomb shortly after it was discovered by a neighbor just before 9 a.m.

The bomb was about 6 inches long and about a half-inch wide, fire officials said.

They declined to release the name of the owner of the home.

Robert Thomas, a spokesman for the state fire marshal's office, said the bomb contained enough explosives to cause serious injury or death if it had detonated near a person.

No motive or suspects have been identified in the case, Thomas said.

He said the device will be examined to see if it matches bombs used in other incidents across the state.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the fire marshal at 1-800-492-7529. Callers can remain anonymous.



Fire destroyed a two-story barn in the 1100 block of Lucabaugh Mill Road on Saturday, causing more than $15,000 in damage, state fire officials said.

About 60 firefighters from the Westminster, Reese, Pleasant Valley, Manchester and Hampstead fire companies fought the blaze for an hour before bringing it under control.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation, fire officials said.



A Moxley Street resident has reported to state police and animal control officers that her cat was brutally attacked and pierced with an arrow.

Melissa Harris told the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Mount Airy state troopers and Frederick County veterinarians that her cat, "Weasel," was shot with an arrow Sept. 13 and then dragged himself home.

Harris said she removed the arrow and then took the cat to the County Veterinarian Hospital for treatment.

Police have no suspects in the attack.



A car hit a utility pole on Deer Park Road near Davinda Drive on Saturday night and knocked power lines across the road.

State police in Westminster closed a section of the road after the 8:30 p.m. accident while the lines were repaired.

Police said electricity in the area was not interrupted and no one was injured in the accident.



A weekend tip to city police led to the discovery of more than two dozen growing marijuana plants, about $5,000 in cash and a variety of drug paraphernalia.

The Saturday afternoon bust -- made after Officer Edward F. Smith received a phone tip -- also resulted in the arrest of Alan Lopata, 35, of the unit block Carrollview Ave. It was in Lopata's 1975 Lincoln Continental and in his two-story town house that the plants, $5,057 in cash, scales and dozens of individual bags of dried marijuana were found, police said.

Lopata was arrested at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday, about 10 minutes after police received the phone tip, Smith said.

After officers found the bundle of cash and some marijuana plants in Lopata's car, they arrested him and obtained a search warrant for his home, Smith said.

In the house, Smith said, more plants, more bags and equipment, including potting soil, fertilizer and indoor growing lamps and trays, were found.

While declining to specify the street value of the marijuana, Smith did say that the drug seizure was a significant one.

"For a street-level officer to make this type of arrest is significant," he said during a Monday afternoon press conference at police headquarters on Longwell Avenue.

Lopata, who was released Monday from the Carroll County Detention Center on $100,000 bond, has been charged on six drug-related counts, police said. Should he be convicted of all six, he could be fined $80,000 and put in jail for 80 years, police said.

*Please report crime tips to these hot lines: 857-TIPS (drugs) and (800) 562-TIPS (Crime Solvers). All calls are confidential and you do not have to give your name.

Here is a compilation of some of the crime reported to local and state police: Westminster Western Maryland College: Damage to tailgate light of car parked in lot Sept. 23. Estimated loss: $250.

Western Maryland College: Equipment stolen from car parked in lot Sept.

23. Estimated loss: $1,680.

* Here is a compilation of the fire and rescue calls to the Emergency Operations Center: Sept. 24

6:45 p.m., Sykesville and Gamber responded to a fire alarm on Bartholow Road.

Sept. 25

6:04 a.m., Westminster and Hampstead responded to an auto fire on Old Manchester Road.

7:18 a.m., Hampstead and Manchester responded to a woods fire on Falls Road in Baltimore County.

Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990

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