Police Nab 2, Minutes After Perry Hall Burglary
Police made two arrests near White Marsh Boulevard and Interstate 95.
UPDATE (12:55 p.m.)—Shortly after a home burglary was reported in Perry Hall on Wednesday afternoon, police arrested two suspects.
Nelson Artez Ellis, 44, of Parkville, and Charles Lewis Billinger, 61, of Baltimore, were each charged with burglary and related offenses, officials said.
At about 12:15 p.m. in the 5100 block of Forge Haven Drive, a home's rear window screen was cut and several electronics were stolen, including a flat-screen television, a Sony PlayStation, an Amazon Kindle and two iPods, according to Lt. Ron Brooks of the White Marsh police precinct.
Neighbors provided police with a description of a white van seen in the area during the burglary. Minutes later, Officer Scott Walston pulled over a vehicle that fit witness descriptions near White Marsh Boulevard and Interstate 95, Brooks said.
Police arrested both men inside the vehicle and recovered all of the stolen property, according to Brooks.
Ellis, of the 6100 block of Old Harford Road, and Billinger, of the unit block of 21st Street, were each charged with first-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and theft between $1,000 and $10,000, court records show.
Both are currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center with Ellis on $75,000 bail, and Billinger on $50,000 bail, according to police.
"This is one of those cases where neighbors are being observant to things that are not usual, including work vans," Brooks said. "Without that information, we don't catch [suspected burglars] that day—and certainly, if we don't catch them that day, many more resources have to be used to identify these folks."
Two other Perry Hall home burglaries involving window screens, but no stolen property, were also recently reported. Between April 9 and April 11, in the 4500 block of Golden Meadow Drive, a window screen was pushed in and a patio chair was moved; and between April 13 and April 14, in the 8800 block of Cowenton Avenue, a window screen was cut, police reports show.
Police are investigating any possible connections between recent incidents and Ellis and Billinger, Brooks said.
The president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association, Dennis M. Robinson, Jr., praised police for the arrests.
"Although it's always a good result when police catch the bad guys. It is even better when they catch them quickly because word spreads that may deter criminals who were thinking about targeting Perry Hall," Robinson said.
"I commend the police for a job well done and continue to urge my neighbors to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police. For example, don't just assume that a neighbor is having work done if you see a truck in the driveway that doesn't belong to them," he added.
Would you call police if you saw a suspicious vehicle in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.