Earlier this week, a 35-year-old man was sentenced to jail after not robbing a Fairfax County savings and loan office. It was the illegal preparation for the nonrobbery that got him in trouble.

Now comes word from suburban Baltimore that a man who reported the theft of part of his collection of "priceless pictures" has been arrested. In this case, it was the way he had allegedly collected the pictures that landed him in the pokey.

After Horace Eugene Gosnell, 57, of Dundalk, reported the theft, the initial suspect, a 17-year-old girl, told county police that Gosnell had lured her into his apartment two years ago, got her drunk, undressed her and forced her to perform perverted sexual acts as he took pictures, according to police Sgt. Don Shinnamon. She claimed that Gosnell used the pictures to blackmail her into returning.

About two weeks ago, the girl and her boyfriend broke into Gosnell's apartment and stole the photographs, leaving others behind. Gosnell, trying to retrieve the pictures he called "priceless," reported the theft to police.

After questioning the suspects, police got a warrant and raided the apartment, seizing about 2,000 other pictures, some depicting teen-aged boys and girls.

Gosnell was charged with two counts of child pornography and one of perverted practice. He remained in the Baltimore County Detention Center last night and could not be reached for comment.