Howard County man charged with burning speed camera box; had ax when arrested

A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday morning after police said they caught him trying to burn a roadside speed camera in Western Howard County. The same camera had been set on fire twice before, and police said they believe the incidents are related.

Connor Lynn Eash, of the 13600 block of Bold Venture Drive in Glenelg, west of Ellicott City, was charged with two counts of malicious burning and several counts of destruction of property. The camera on Burntwoods Road is less than a mile from the suspect’s house.

Howard County police said that the camera was burned in September, and then again early Thursday morning. Detectives with the police and fire marshal’s office set up surveillance and said they saw a man approach the camera about 5 a.m. on Saturday.

“The subject was observed bending down next to the box,” police said in a statement. Police said the man was carrying an ax and a bottle of accelerant. He ran when officers approached but was later arrested. Police said he had a lighter when he was taken into custody.

Police estimated damage to the speed camera at $30,000, which includes all three incidents. Authorities were not able to determine on Saturday whether the suspect had ever received tickets from that camera.

Attempts to reach the man’s relatives were not successful. Eash was being processed on Saturday afternoon and could not be reached for comment. He has been ordered held in the Howard County Detention Center on $25,000 bail.

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