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Arson in obstetrics office investigated


Arson was blamed for a fire early yesterday that caused $210,000 in damage to a Glen Burnie building. County fire officials said the blaze was set in a medical office occupied by an obstetrics and gynecology practice.

Although abortions are not performed at the obstetrics office, which gives referrals for the procedure, investigators will try to determine whether the fire was abortion-related, said Battalion Chief John M. Scholz, a Fire Department spokesman.

The fire in the first-floor suites of Arundel Ob-Gyn Associates was reported just before 6 a.m. and was controlled within 30 minutes by about 25 firefighters. No one was injured.

The two-story building in the 1400 block of Crain Highway houses a Veterans Affairs office on the upper level and a pediatrician's office on the first floor, adjacent to the obstetrics practice.

Anyone with information is asked to call 410-222-TIPS.

Police investigate teen accused in burglary, theft

County police are continuing to investigate the activities of a south county teen-ager accused of breaking into a neighbor's house, using the neighbor's computer and credit card number to order electronics and intercepting the items when they were delivered.

Thomas Valentine of the 5200 block of Cottonwood Drive in Lothian called police Aug. 31 after receiving a credit card statement with unusual charges for an online purchase from Aug. 19, a day on which he said he remembered seeing the youth leaving his yard.

On Sept. 7, police said, another neighbor found boxes behind the teen-age suspect's house with a packing slip addressed to Valentine.

Police said detectives recovered sound-mixing equipment from the teen-ager's bedroom that was allegedly ordered with Valentine's credit card numbers.

The teen-ager was arrested Friday and charged with burglary, theft and unauthorized use of a credit card. The suspect was released to an aunt's custody.

Investigators were trying to determine whether other items had been ordered in a similar fashion, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a police spokesman.

Detectives interviewing boy in reported abduction

County homicide detectives are investigating the reported abduction of a 16-year-old boy from a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Annapolis after a football game Friday night at Broadneck High School, police said.

The teen-ager told detectives that he was leaving a McDonald's lot in the 1400 block of Whitehall Road about 10:15 p.m. when five other youths - one of whom had a handgun - forced him into the trunk of a dark-colored Nissan Sentra.

The boy told police he picked the trunk lock, got out of the moving car after several miles and called police from a stranger's house in the Whispering Woods neighborhood, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a police spokesman.

In addition to homicides, detectives investigate serious cases. They were interviewing the teen and several possible witnesses, Ravenell said yesterday.

County police announce list of promotions

County police have announced promotions for nearly a dozen officers.

The list includes Capt. David Shipley, who has been named deputy chief, a job he had held on an acting basis for several months.

Sergeants promoted to lieutenant are Randall Jones, who will command the narcotics unit; Pamela Davis, who moves from command of the sex crimes unit to Western District shift commander; and Wayne Vernon, who also becomes a shift commander in the Western.

Five officers were promoted to sergeant: John Doucet at the training academy; James Cifala in the crime prevention unit; Francis Tewey, Western District; Bryan Riddle, Northern District; Tom O'Connor, chief's office; and Katherine Goodwin, intelligence unit.

The promotions also prompted new assignments for Sgt. William Krampf as head of the sex crimes unit and Capt. Ronald Bateman as commander of the Northern District.

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