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Eldersburg man charged in two church break-ins


A 25-year-old Eldersburg man, whose phone number was left at a church that was burglarized June 8, is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $25,000 bond on charges of breaking into two churches in early June.

Robert Edward Reed of the 5800 block of Miriam Drive admitted breaking into the churches, police alleged in charging documents at the District Court office.

State police said a note -- "Drunk and Stupid, ran out of gas and wish to send $75 to cover damages, call me at [a telephone number]" -- was found in the office of Johnsville United Methodist Church in Eldersburg.

Investigators said the number was listed to an address in the 5800 block of Miriam Drive. They took the note to that address, and an occupant said it was the suspect's handwriting, according to court papers.

Officers said an $800 bass guitar belonging to a church member was stolen from the church. A similar item was pawned at Slim's Professional Pawn Shop in Eldersburg on June 9, according to the daily report sent by the pawn shop to the state police.

Police said the instrument was pawned by a woman who lives in the house listed as Mr. Reed's address.

The bass was identified by its owner June 14 and held by police, investigators said.

On Thursday, officers questioned the woman alleged to have pawned the bass. Within hours, police said, they received a telephone call from her stating that Mr. Reed was asleep at her house.

Investigators said they had an old warrant charging Mr. Reed with failure to appear for a court hearing and arrested him on that charge.

Police said that during questioning Mr. Reed admitted breaking into Johnsville United Methodist Church in the 1100 block of Johnsville Road on June 8 and Calvary United Methodist Church in the 3900 block of Gamber Road on June 11, according to charging documents.

State police are continuing their investigation into 10 other church burglaries in the county between June 11 and June 29. The churches are located from Hampstead in northern Carroll to the Woodbine area in the south.

Damage and losses in the burglaries were estimated at more than $11,000, police said.

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