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Burglars Return a Second Time, Homeowner Murdered in Baltimore, Maryland

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February 12, 2014
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Burglars Return a Second Time, Homeowner Murdered in Baltimore, Maryland

Burglar do come back: we know that. There are so many stories of burglars returning to the scene of the crime – sometimes two or three more times - that it’s hard to ignore this fact. And why these victims don’t get a monitored alarm system after the first incident is completely beyond me. After all, I’ve written about the studies that show how just having a monitored alarm system can help keep the first burglary from happening! In this story from Baltimore, Maryland, the burglars did come back – but with tragic consequences.

For the second time in her life, Grace Leto will have to bury a child. In 1983, she said, her 18-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident in Baltimore. On Friday, another daughter, Kimberly Leto, 51, was stabbed to death after she happened upon two teenagers attempting to burglarize her home, Baltimore police said. Leto's killing has frustrated neighborhood leaders, who say it shows police must step up enforcement efforts in the relatively affluent area.

Young Burglars, Repeat Offender

Baltimore District Judge Rachel Cogen on Monday called Leto's murder "a tragedy … on all accounts" as she ordered suspects Alonzo Gorham-Ramos, 14, and Allen Pinkney, 16, held pending further developments in the case. Gorham-Ramos had previously been arrested in a summer burglary of Leto's home, police said, an incident in which she awoke to find him making off with electronics and other valuables.

Previous Burglary

According to a police report, Leto told an officer that she was asleep in the living room of her home on S. Ellwood Ave. when she woke up to someone trying to grab a laptop lying nearby on the floor. When the suspect realized he had been spotted, he abandoned the computer and ran out the rear kitchen door. Leto gave chase before she lost him. When she returned home, the police report said, she realized her iPhone and iPad were missing from her kitchen counter and $40 had been stolen from a kitchen drawer. Her keys were also gone.

Second Intrusion

Authorities believe he returned there with Pinkney this weekend, and the two attacked her when she found them. Court testimony and police records provided a chilling account of the incident that has shocked Leto's Highlandtown neighbors.

Details of the Crime

The rear first-floor kitchen window was unlocked and open. Detectives believe the teens came in the backyard and brought a lawn chair up to the kitchen window. Another resident at the home told police that a black iPad and other belongings were also missing. A bloody Adidas shoeprint had been left behind. After learning of the earlier burglary, detectives brought Gorham-Ramos and his mother to police headquarters for an interview. There, police said, a detective noticed he was wearing Adidas tennis shoes that matched the shoeprints found at the crime scene. Police said Gorham-Ramos confessed that he and Pinkney had been burglarizing Leto's home when she woke up. Gorham-Ramos said he and Pinkney stabbed her multiple times, court records show.

Neighborhood Reacts

Residents in Southeast Baltimore have been unnerved by the notion that a resident would be killed by apparent strangers in the security of her home overlooking Patterson Park. City Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents the area, has said he is increasingly frustrated that the city has not heeded his calls for more officers on foot patrol. Mike Beczkowski, who leads neighborhood crime awareness walks in Canton, said he doesn't understand why the mayor's office or police haven't responded to Kraft's requests.

Residents at Risk

Beczkowski said neighborhoods in Southeast Baltimore are "the wealthiest in the city" and "prone to more criminal attacks like this." "Despite repeated requests, the mayor says we can't have them and has sent them elsewhere," Beczkowski said. "We plan on flooding her office with calls and emails until we do." He has advised residents to take their own safety precautions. "Our advice is for everyone to get a burglary system to help prevent break-ins," Beczkowski said. "Our safety requires ongoing vigilance."

How an Alarm System Helps

There was a time when getting an alarm system was considered an “event-driven” purchase: something bad had to happen to convince homeowners to make that investment in peace of mind. That’s changing now: plenty of people just want to protect their home and family, and to do everything they can to prevent an incident in the first place. And with alarm system doing so much more, including home automation and remote control, there are more reasons than ever to make the modest investment.

How an Alarm System Helps

The best way to deter a burglar in the first place is with a monitored home alarm system. If the perps are not scared away by the loud siren, then the police will be dispatched and deal with them. And that’s where FrontPoint can help. We’re the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. When you’re ready for a home alarm that’s safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, you’re ready for FrontPoint: no hidden fees, the best interactive, wireless home alarm technology at the best price, and real peace of mind. The first time.

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