Children escape during Annapolis home invasion

Police rescue victims with intruder still inside

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Those living in the Harbour House public housing complex in Annapolis have learned to live in fear.

"I keep my doors locked at all times," said Lillian Pickeral.
But when a pair of children, left at home alone, failed to secure their door on Thursday night, police say 32-year-old Larenzo Martin let himself in.

"It certainly frightened them,” said Cpl. Amy Miguez of the Annapolis Police Department, “He approached them with something in his hand and they were able to get back into a bedroom and lock themselves in and call us."
When officers arrived, they helped the children escape through a ground floor window, and then they turned their attention to the unwelcomed visitor.

"He had a spring-loaded knife in his pocket when they arrested him,” said Miguez, “He was still in the apartment when they did gain entry to the apartment.  He was arrested for first, third and fourth degree burglary and two counts of false imprisonment.  He was blocking the entrance.  He locked the door to the apartment after he entered.  It certainly was very scary for those kids."
Residents say the apartment buildings in the complex once had locks on the main entry doors, which required tenants to let guests in, but they have long since been broken or disabled.

"The building I live in?  Somebody stuck a penny in it, which broke the door," said Lovenus Brown.
Leaving the people who live here on the hook to replace them or risk strangers entering their buildings with bad intent.

"It should be a wakeup call for the housing people to better secure these apartments,” said Brown, “and what can I say?  Parents need to take more responsibility in making sure the kids are secure too."
Residents say the intruder had acted suspiciously and as if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs before stumbling into the building and finding the children's door unlocked.

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