Pa. man charged in car-theft attempts near BWI

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A man whose truck got stuck on railroad tracks near Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport over the weekend got out of the stalled vehicle and tried to steal four vehicles in succession, Anne Arundel County police said.

Officers said they were alerted to the theft attempts by a woman who said she heard a loud noise. The noise, police said, was the sound of the stalled truck being struck by an Amtrak passenger train. The truck had apparently been driven through a fence before getting stuck on the tracks, police said.

Officers said the truck was empty when struck about 5:20 p.m. Saturday on tracks southwest of the airport, near the 7400 block of Railroad Avenue in the Harmans area. Amtrak officials said that no one was injured when Train 161, en route from Boston to Washington, hit the abandoned truck two miles south of the BWI station.

But when the woman, who was not identified, went to see about the noise, she found a man in her car, police said. She shouted, and he got out of the car and fled. When she looked in the car, police said, she found that an attempt had been made to break the steering column.

As officers began searching for the would-be thief, they said they were approached by a 28-year-old man who worked at a business in the vicinity. He said that someone had entered his business and threatened to stab him unless he handed over the keys to his car.

The man told the would-be thief that he had no car keys and eluded him, police said.

As officers continued to search the area, a 33-year-old man approached them with another report of an attempt to take a car. This man told officers that he had found a would-be thief in his wife's vehicle. The man apparently was trying to drive off in the vehicle but was unable to do so, and he fled, police said.

Officers said they found the suspect near Dorsey Road and Aviation Boulevard, not far from Railroad Avenue and the site of the first theft attempt. As officers held the suspect, they said were approached by another victim of an attempted car theft.

A 61-year-old man said that as he was driving on Dorsey Road, someone had jumped in front of his car. The man said the would-be thief had reached into an open window and tried to force open the car doors.

Police identified the suspect as Gary E. Ensor, 43, of Manchester, Pa. They said he was arrested and charged with attempted robbery, assault and three counts of attempted stolen auto.

They said he was also charged with destruction to property, possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession.

Ensor's wife, Dawn, said in a telephone interview Monday night that police had given her information about the arrest. She said she had "not a clue" what her husband would have been doing in Maryland or on railroad tracks Saturday evening.

She described Ensor, a self-employed contractor, as "very intelligent, loving . . . and very hard-working" with "an incredible sense of humor."

But she said that he had experienced emotional and substance abuse problems. She said that "he needs help" but that help has not been "readily or easily available."

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