CRIME

Odenton apartments hit by fire burglarized days later

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(WJLA) -- Insult has been added to injury for residents of an Odenton, Md. apartment complex destroyed in a fire last week.

On Friday, March 7, a massive fire destroyed several units in The Apartments at 7 Oaks, located on Peaceful Way, while leaving several others untouched. Nevertheless, building inspectors declared the entire complex uninhabitable, and all tenants were displaced.

Unfortunately, even though property managers secured the surviving apartments with fencing around the building and master locks on the doors, the locks weren't enough to deter determined burglars.

Mid-day on Friday, the management company and several residents discovered that several of the surviving apartments had been broken into, and residents' property had been stolen.

Anne Arundel County Police confirm that a total of 11 burglaries have occurred in the complex, between the hours of 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday.

Resident Shane Keller initially considered himself lucky -- his building was condemned, and he had to leave, but at least his apartment and belongings were spared fire, smoke and water damage.

But, then the burglars hit.

"Everything in my apartment is completely wrecked -- even things that were on bookcase, they just knocked it off," Keller told ABC7.

Keller and his girlfriend Colleen Riley are among a group of burglary victims, from which thieves stole everything from cash, to jewelry, to electronics, and even guns from people that have now been burned not once, but twice.

In one of the more disturbing thefts at the complex, a resident reported that seven firearms were stolen from his apartment.

Friday, officers canvassing the area found and recovered six of the seven firearms.

Police said the management company of the complex is cooperating with the investigation, and has also hired a private security company to watch over the building 24 hours a day. Anne Arundel County police also said they are increasing patrols in the area.

"Right now we're checking all avenues," said Anne Arundel County Police Lt. T.J. Smith. "These people didn't deserve to be victimized twice."

There are no suspects at this time.

Anyone with information relating to these burglaries is urged to call Anne Arundel County's Western District Detectives at 410-222-6155 or Metro Crime Stoppers at the number listed below.

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