Property crimes detail records 300 arrestsBALTIMORE --...


Property crimes detail records 300 arrests

BALTIMORE -- A police detail set up to track down suspects in property crimes completed its work this week, having made more than 200 arrests the past three months.

The Property Crime Apprehension Unit -- a squad of two detectives from the property crimes section and two officers from the Southeastern District assigned for three months -- found suspects who had warrants outstanding against them for crimes such as burglary and theft, said Sgt. Michael Tabor of the property crimes unit.

Sergeant Tabor headed the unit, which was set up by Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier. Because of the unit's success, all nine police districts will create their own units, assigning two officers each to serve arrest warrants, Sergeant Tabor said.

Ex-fiscal officer pleads guilty to federal charge


BALTIMORE -- Rufus Ukaegbu, the former state fiscal officer convicted earlier this week of stealing $1.2 million, pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal money-laundering charge in connection with the theft.

Federal prosecutors filed the charge because some of the stolen money had come from federal sources, and interstate transactions were used to conceal the theft.

Ukaegbu, 35, of the 4400 block of St. Georges Ave. in Baltimore was the chief financial officer of the Water Quality Financing Administration, an arm of the Maryland Department of the Environment that pays for projects to reduce water pollution.

Earlier this week in Baltimore Circuit Court, Ukaegbu pleaded guilty to stealing $1.2 million. He could be sentenced to 41 months in prison under the terms of a plea agreement and could be fined a a maximum of twice the amount stolen. He will be sentenced Oct. 7.

Rape, kidnap suspect held without bail


WESTMINSTER -- A Woodbine man accused of raping and kidnapping a neighbor during a 13-hour standoff last week will remain in the Carroll County jail without bail, a district court judge ruled yesterday.

District Judge Donald M. Smith said Ralph Paul Ash "would be dangerous if he should be released."

Mr. Ash, 37, was arrested Wednesday and charged with rape, kidnapping, assault and burglary after he surrendered to police who had surrounded the Woodbine trailer where his neighbor had been held hostage most of the day.

After almost 20 hours of questioning by the state police, Mr. Ash was taken to a District Court commissioner Thursday and was ordered held at the Carroll County Detention Center without bond.

At yesterday's bail review, State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman told Judge Smith the hostage-taking was part of a plan to kill someone. When state police Tfc. Vicki Scimanski took the stand to explain the alleged plot, Mr. Ash told the judge the idea was "to kill my wife."

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