Baltimore County police had little trouble locating the 16-year-old youth suspected of breaking into the home of former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jose Mesa: He drove right past them in Mr. Mesa's car.
After the officers stopped the stolen red 1988 Hyundai Excel, they discovered an Orioles baseball jacket with Mr. Mesa's former number 52 inside and the ballplayer's hat on the alleged thief's head, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman.
Mr. Mesa, 26, traded last month to the Cleveland Indians, was scheduled to pitch last night against his former teammates.
The break-in at Mr. Mesa's house in the 800 block of Beaver Bank Circle in Towson was discovered Aug. 1 when the pitcher's wife, Mirla, 33, returned from an out-of-town trip, the spokesman said.
Police said the couple's car -- along with some jewelry, baseball equipment and memorabilia valued at about $9,000 -- were taken. Almost all of the stolen items have been recovered, police said.
Sergeant Doarnberger said the youth was apprehended Aug. 3 in North Baltimore when police received a tip that the stolen car was in the vicinity of Belair Road and Frankford Avenue.
The sergeant said two other youths -- 16 and 17 -- have been charged with breaking and entering and grand theft auto. All three are being held at the Charles Hickey School in Cub Hill.
A warrant has been obtained charging a neighbor of the Mesas, Angie Schwanky, 18, of the 800 block of Beaver Bank Court in Towson, with burglary, Sergeant Doarnberger said. An Orioles bat was allegedly recovered from the woman's car, he said.