CRIME: Trial set for accused burglar of ex-mayor’s house

crime scene tape

by Greg Kohn

A man charged with burglarizing three Takoma Park homes, including that of former Mayor Kathy Porter, is scheduled to go to trial December 20 in Montgomery County District Court, according to court documents.

Police charged Fernando Johnson, 39, of Bladensburg, with first-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and various other offenses in connection to two burglaries that occurred August 9, including one at Porter’s house on Elm Avenue, and another that happened three days later on Takoma Avenue, according to Takoma Park police.

Johnson was taken into custody while walking down a sidewalk just hours after the third burglary occurred, a quick arrest that was the result of dedication shown by the officers working the case, according to Lt. Tyrone Collington. “The investigators worked relentlessly, and their prompt action and quick response to leads led to the fast arrest,” he said.

Porter said the burglar took a small TV and various pieces of jewelry. The back door of her house had been forcibly opened, and several rooms had been ransacked.  “I wasn’t really afraid,” Porter said after discovering the crime, “just mostly annoyed and unhappy about all the mess.”

Some stolen items were reportedly recovered, although Collington declined to cite further details because the case is still open.  All three burglaries showed signs of forced entry, including two kicked-in doors, according to the advisories distributed by the police.