A 39-year-old man sought in two home invasions and an attempted rape in Howard County has been captured in Connecticut, where he is being held without bail awaiting extradition to Maryland, Howard County police said yesterday.
Ronnie Gordon Smith Jr. was tracked to a relative's house in New Haven, where police reported that they found him hiding in a closet late Wednesday. He was taken into custody with no struggle, said Jennifer Reidy, a Howard County police spokeswoman.
Reidy said Smith had no fixed address in Maryland but had been staying at different Columbia locations.
Smith was identified as a suspect in the home invasions by detectives who sifted through hundreds of Baltimore pawn shop receipts and found records indicating that he had pawned items stolen from two apartments in Columbia this month, police said.
The latest incident occurred Dec. 11 when a 24-year-old woman returning to her Town Center apartment was attacked by a man already in her residence. The assailant struck her with his fist and a flashlight, tied her up and stole an Xbox 360 game system, an iPod Shuffle, a Hewlett-Packard laptop computer and other items that were pawned the next day.
She was sexually assaulted but persuaded her assailant not to rape her by telling him that she had a sexually transmitted disease, police said.
On Dec. 6, a man police believe was the same assailant entered the apartment of a 60-year-old woman, tied her up and stole jewelry, a laptop computer and other items.
She identified her lost items at the pawn shop, police said.
In both cases, the attacker entered through unlocked windows or sliding doors.