Roundup of news from around the region

MARYLAND

District man charged in burglary spree

Montgomery County police have arrested a District man they say was behind a slew of burglaries in Rockville and Bethesda.

Andre Antonio Henry, 29, of 50th Street NE faces dozens of charges of burglary, attempted burglary and theft-related crimes, police said.

Capt. David Falcinelli told Bethesda residents in an e-mail that Henry was allegedly responsible for a “huge spike” of commercial burglaries this year.

Police said Henry, who they said is on probation for similar charges in Virginia and is being investigated for his alleged role in similar burglaries in the District, used a screwdriver to break into offices and businesses.

He allegedly took laptops, cellphones and other electronics.

Henry also allegedly stole credit cards and gift cards, which he used for purchases such as clothing from Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic and H&M, the documents say.

Many places Henry allegedly targeted were equipped with surveillance cameras.

In addition, witnesses spotted him during two incidents, police said.

After identifying Henry as a suspect, detectives arrested him last week in Prince George’s County. They announced the arrest Monday. He is being held on a $50,000 bond, according to police.

— St. John Barned-Smith

Montgomery council asked to trim budget

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is asking the County Council to trim its proposed additions to the fiscal 2014 budget, warning that excessive new spending could jeopardize progress in stabilizing the county’s finances.

Leggett (D) added significant new costs of his own to the $4.8 billion budget he proposed for the fiscal year that begins July 1, negotiating new contracts with county employee unions that will cost more than $31 million.

But in a letter released late Monday, he said the council’s amendments — which total about $18.3 million — would push spending to unsustainable levels.

If adopted in their entirety, the council’s additions would raise spending from the 4 percent increase proposed by Leggett to more than 5 percent over the current fiscal year.

— Bill Turque

Takoma Park lowers its voting age to 16

When Takoma Park’s next Election Day arrives in November, the lines of voters ready to cast their ballots for the City Council will include a new set of voters making history.

During its Monday meeting, the Takoma Park City Council passed a series of city charter amendments relating to voting and election laws, including one allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in city elections.

With Monday’s vote, Takoma Park became the first city in the United States to lower its voting age — which previously was 18 — to 16.

— Lindsay A. Powers

Delegate gets 30 days for drunken boating

Maryland Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. was given a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday for a drunken boating charge related to a collision in August that left seven people injured, including a 5-year-old girl who suffered skull fractures.

It could be several months before a final decision on whether Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel) has to serve time. Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Robert C. Wilcox said that the sentence would be stayed if Dwyer appealed, which his lawyer promptly did. An appeal sends the case to Circuit Court.

Dwyer, 55, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, told the court that he was “very remorseful” and said that he is continuing to seek help for a drinking problem that stemmed in part from marital issues.

Wilcox said that the three-term delegate’s decision to operate a boat after drinking heavily was “a tragedy in the making.”

— John Wagner

Police HQ plan gets panel’s approval

The Prince George’s County Police Department is a step closer to buying a $27 million headquarters after a County Council committee gave preliminary approval to the plan Tuesday.

The council’s public safety committee approved a lease/purchase agreement for properties in Suitland that several years ago had been sought by the school system for its headquarters.

The site on Presidential Parkway will allow the department to consolidate administrative offices and move its training academy from Lanham, county officials said.

— Miranda S. Spivack

 
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