Two citizens at the Columbia City Fair captured a purse-snatcher Friday night after a brief chase along the shore of Lake Kittamaqundi, county police said.

The theft occurred at about 9:50 p.m. when a 38-year-old Columbia woman's purse was grabbed while she was sitting onthe grass near the concession area, police said.

Two of her family members began chasing the man toward a nearby parking lot when two Montgomery County men, ages 20 and 28, joined in the chase. A short distance away, the men were able to wrestle the alleged thief to the ground and keep him pinned until police arrived.

The purse, containing $50 in cash, was recovered and returned to the woman, police said.

Arrested and charged with theft was Stuart Schuster Jr., 22, of the 10800 block of Green Mountain Circle in Columbia. He remained at the Howard County Detention Center yesterday on $1,000 bond.

Police said a total of three other arrests were made at the fair over the weekend, all on disorderly conduct charges.


The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating a fire Friday that injured one person and caused an estimated $89,000 in damage to a Columbia dry cleaning business, county fire officials said.

The fire began at approximately 3 p.m. at the V/C Dry Cleaners store in the 8600 block of Guilford Road. Firefighters believe the blaze began around one of the cleaning machines.

Sprinklers activated and prevented further fire damage. Injured in the fire was Linda Morra, 26, of the 7400 block of Setting Sun Way.Morra suffered minor burns to her face and shoulders, a fire report said.

She was treated and released from Howard County General Hospital.

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


8500 block Storch Woods Drive: June 15, a 1987Chevrolet Camaro was reported stolen at 8:30 a.m. from an apartment complex parking lot.


6400 block Ducketts Lane: June 15, a 1985 Toyota 4-Runner was reported stolen at 5:30 a.m. from a residential parking lot.

Ellicott City

3100 block West Spring Drive: June 13, several household items were reported stolen at 1:30 p.m. from an apartment that was entered through a screen window.

9000 block Town and Country Boulevard: June 13, an apartment was broken into sometime before 10 p.m. when someone pried open a screen window, but it is unknown whether anything was taken.

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