The apartment of a Silver Spring woman who was last seen a week ago was burglarized four times in the four days following her disappearance, friends of the woman's family and law enforcement sources said yesterday.
Two men were apprehended in Southeast Washington Saturday driving a car belonging to the woman, Joanne Nancy Grossnickle, 22, of 1110 Fidler La., police said. Authorities said items apparently taken from the woman's apartment were found in the car and in an apartment on Minnesota Avenue SE where one of the men was staying.
Grossnickle, who was last seen leaving her parents' home in southern Frederick County Monday afternoon, was reported missing after she failed to show up at work on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
District police Saturday stopped Rubin Jackson, 39, of 1327 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, and Charlie Perry, 20, of 3549 Minnesota Ave. SE, as they were driving in the tan, 1984 Nissan Sentra reported missing by Grossnickle's parents. The men were charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Jackson also was held on a fugitive warrant from Montgomery County charging him with burglary of Grossnickle's apartment. Perry was released on $5,000 bond; Jackson was in custody last night awaiting arraignment.
Sources close to the investigation said that when Grossnickle's parents drove to her apartment Tuesday, they discovered that a television set and a stereo had been taken; there was no sign of forced entry.
On each of three successive days, according to the sources, items disappeared from the apartment. They ranged from a small wooden bureau, to pots and pans, to a studio couch that was apparently removed Thursday night or Friday, the sources said. In each case, thieves apparently used a key to enter, they said.
Montgomery County and District police declined to comment on the number of burglaries or whether the apartment had been staked out, as Grossnickle's parents had suggested. Among the items reportedly recovered at the Minnesota Avenue home was a wooden bureau filled with women's clothes.
Friends of Grossnickle, who works as a legislative associate and Washington office manager of the Washington office of the Church of the Brethren, described her as quiet and personable.
Computer systems designer Jay Arnold, a lifelong friend, called Grossnickle a " . . . quiet, gentle person, very family oriented."
Most of her relatives, who live in the rural area around Union Bridge, have jobs related to farming or agriculture, Arnold said. " . . . She liked both the city and country life," he noted.
A May graduate in business administration from Towson State College, Grossnickle had previously worked as a summer counselor for youth conferences of the church, which emphasizes voluntarism and nonviolence. Her mother said she worked in the Washington office as liaison between special interest groups and legislators on civil rights and human rights issues.
Police described Grossnickle as 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 110 pounds, with long brown hair, hazel eyes (she wears contact lenses or glasses) and a medium complexion