Three Columbia residents were arrested on theft charges Thursday after a brief car chase on Oakland Mills Road, county police said.

The chase began shortly before 5:30 p.m. when an officer spotted an eastbound 1989 Jeep Cherokee that had been reported stolen a day earlierfrom Columbia, police said. Three people in the vehicle jumped out while approaching the intersection of Homespun Drive.

Police say the unmanned Jeep was left in drive, headed forward into the intersection and collided with another car. The driver of theother vehicle was not injured, police said.

One of the passengersfrom the Jeep fell while running from police and was apprehended at the scene. Arrested was Keith Robert Newman, 26, of the 6400 block ofAutumn Gold Court, police said.

Another of the suspects, a 17-year-old male, was arrested a short time later on Homespun Drive. The suspected driver, a 15-year-old male, turned himself in to police at 11 p.m.

All three suspects were charged with theft, police said. The suspected driver also was charged with driving without a license, reckless driving, and fleeing and eluding a police officer.

Newman was being held at the Howard County Detention Center on Friday in lieu of $10,000 bond. The two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents.


The state FireMarshal's office is investigating a suspicious fire Sunday that badly gutted a barn owned by the county Department of Recreation and Parks, county fire officials said.

The fire began shortly before 5:30 a.m. in the barn, near a wooded area of the 10500 block of Boones Lane in Ellicott City. The barn had been used for storage by the recreation and parks department.

Fire officials had no estimate on the damage caused by the fire. No injuries were reported and no other buildings were damaged.


County police are attempting to locate a man who indecently exposed himself to several women Tuesday afternoon at a bathroom at The Mall in Columbia.

The incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m., when a man wearing blue work clothes entered the women's restroom and stood in one ofthe stalls, police said. The man exposed himself to women in the restroom, then ran out when several of them screamed.

Police say the man ran into the mall parking lot and was gone by the time officers arrived. He is described as a white male between the age of 35 and 40,approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 160 pounds and having dark curlyhair and a full beard.

A compilation of some of the crimes reported to state police and Howard County police is:


5600 block Columbia Road: March 11, a 1990 Honda Accord was reported stolenat 8 a.m. from a residential area.

5900 block Harpers Farm Road: March 9, a woman reported her purse was snatched by an unknown man after she walked out of a video store. The purse contained less than $100 in cash; police say the thief ran from the area with a second man.

5300 block Columbia Road: March 7, a Ford Probe was reported stolen at 6 a.m. from a residential parking lot.


3900 block Ten Oaks Road: March 11, a 1979 Jeep was stolen sometime before 11:55 p.m. from a business parking lot.

North Laurel

9400 blockFens Hollow: March 10, a 1989 Mercury Sable was reported stolen at 5:30 p.m. from a residential area.


7300 block Brown Bridge Road: March 7, a power saw and a Weed Eater were reported stolen at 7 p.m. from a work shed on private property.

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