Columbia’s Alleged Hamburglar Nabbed by Howard County Police

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Still from video via Howard County Police

The woman infamously seen clumsily burglarizing a McDonald’s in Columbia last week has been captured, according to authorities.

Howard County police say Jessica Cross, 27, was taken into custody Thursday morning. A resident of Upper Marlboro, she faces three counts of burglary and an additional theft charge, according to online court records. She was booked at the Howard County Detention Center today.

Police released surveillance footage earlier this week of a heist at a Mickey D’s on Benson Drive in the overnight hours of Nov. 1. The video shows a woman – allegedly Cross – first sticking her torso through an unlocked drive-thru window of the closed fast food eatery to fill up a cup with an electric blue beverage (again, probably Powerade). She then climbs all the way in and, over the course of a little more than a half-hour, steals cash and food before haphazardly handing it off in a box to someone outside.

Police revealed today that it was more than burgers and petty cash she took. An employee who arrived the next morning found $1,400 was missing, with indications that registers and the back office door had been opened.

Cross also allegedly grabbed a purse, food and happy meal toys. In the process, she unsuccessfully tried to dismantle the surveillance system, wipe away her fingerprints and “wash the cash drawers,” a release said.

Detectives examined the surveillance video and noticed a white Hyundai had pulled up outside just before the burglary. The driver appeared to try to order from the closed drive-thru at first before opting to just climb in instead.

Within two days after sharing the now-viral footage online, multiple tipsters had helped police identify her as a suspect. Police cross-checked her photo on file with the Maryland Vehicle Administration and confirmed she owns a Hyundai. They subsequently issued a warrant for her arrest.

Police say Cross learned she was wanted and agreed to turn herself in this morning. Court records don’t list an attorney or a scheduled court hearing coming up.

Not that it’s a competition, but Howard County police managed to crack their case in a far shorter timeframe than Baltimore County authorities did for their naked burglar at Slice of Towson last November. We’ll just have to wait around for the next daring heist to see who can quickly catch the most brazen of thieves.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Associate Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan is Baltimore Fishbowl's associate editor. He previously covered Baltimore-area news as a web producer for Fox45/WBFF-TV. Before arriving in Baltimore, he worked as an assistant editor for CQ Researcher in Washington D.C., and a reporter for Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. Look for his freelance bylines in Baltimore City Paper and DCist.
Ethan McLeod
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