Woman to spend three months in jail for 'hamburglar' theft from Howard County McDonald's

A woman police nicknamed the “hamburglar” of Howard County has pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and theft and will spend three months in jail, according to court documents.

Jessica Marie Cross, 27, of Springdale, was arrested last November after she stole money and food from a McDonald’s in Columbia.


At a plea hearing Monday morning, Cross was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary and theft, with all but three months suspended. She was also sentenced to more than three years of probation, during which she must complete treatment for mental health as well as for drug and alcohol addiction, according to online filings.

Howard County police said in November that Cross was caught on surveillance video climbing into a Columbia McDonald’s drive-thru window to steal food, a drink and money.


The surveillance video showed a woman, whom police identified as Cross, peering into the drive-thru window, reaching in to pour herself a drink, then climbing into the window around 1 a.m. She spent about 35 minutes inside, according to the timestamp on the video.

The McDonald’s, located in the 8300 block of Benson Drive, was closed at the time, police said. About $1,400 in cash was missing from the fast food restaurant the following day, and an employee told police she arrived to work to find cash registers “disturbed” and the office door open.

Police said detectives compared the surveillance images to her Motor Vehicle Administration photo and discovered Cross owns a white Hyundai, which matched the car used during the heist.

Cross’ lawyer could not be reached for comment Monday night.