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Police recount men's night in the cold woods with hot loot

Dan Morse

Here’s a tough spot from which to explain yourself to police: Late at night, about 28 degrees, and they have just found you hiding in a thicket of brush and trees outside a house that has a bunch of stuff missing from it.

Near your feet are seven watches, a diamond bracelet, a checkbook, and an Apple laptop. Nearby are three buddies. One's carrying an $80 Texas Instruments calculator.

Thus did Montgomery County police describe a weekend case in Burtonsville, according to their statements of probable cause made public in court records on Monday.

Letona, left, and Kazmi. (Montgomery County Police)

Officers charged four suspects -- an 18-year-old and 19-year-old, both from Burtonsville, who were locked into the county jail, and two juveniles, who were released to the custody of family members -- with burglary, theft and property destruction offenses, according to authorities.

The incident unfolded shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday when a 31-year-old woman returned to her house and noted te lights on inside, and uninvited guests “running through the interior,” according to the probable cause documents. She called the police.

Officers arrived to find a rear door and window broken. A second-floor rear window was also open with its screen cut out, according to police.

The officers were examining these possible entry points when one of them heard a rustling noise from the woods nearby. Police went to check and found the quartet. One of the juveniles had with him “a red handled screwdriver, confessed to later as the tool used to break the windows and the door glass,” according to police.

The watches were all valued from $50 to $230. The Powerbook computer looks to be a nice one, valued with its briefcase at $2,700.

All four suspects, according to the police, admitted they drove around Saturday night looking for a random house to break into. One of their vehicles was found parked in front of the house they chose to enter, authorities said.

Police identified the adult suspects as Murtaza A. Kazmi, 19, of Dunwood Terrace in Burtonsville, and Guillermo A. Letona, 18, of Leatherwood Terrace in Burtonsville. Kazmi was released on bond Monday night, a jail official said.

A message left on the phone number listed in arrest records wasn’t returned. Letona was still in custody Tuesday morning, according to a jail official.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  December 15, 2009; 8:01 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery , Offbeat  
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Ok, so where did the break in happen in Montgomery County? We know that 2 of the suspects are from Burtonsville. Was that where the break in happened?

Very bad on the details

Posted by: kernunnos1367 | December 15, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Nice black eye on Letona. Musta been run over by MPDC. I'm sure more than one attorney has contacted him by now.

Posted by: gpl2411 | December 15, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the break-in occurred in Burtonsville, as mentioned in the third paragraph. Sorry I wasn't more specific. Police say it occurred in the 14300 block of Hollyhock Way, which is between Columbia Pike and Old Columbia Pike, south of Greencastle Road. -- Dan Morse

Posted by: DanMorse | December 15, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

OMG! A reporter who actually reads the comments and kindly responds. Be still my heart!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 15, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you waterfront. I do try to keep up with the comments ... And I'd like to encourage readers to comment thoughtfully, and to direct criticisms/comments at my work, rather than lobbing personal (and too often hateful) comments about the subjects in the posts. Thanks for reading.

Posted by: Dan Morse | December 16, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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