The day after two suspected burglars were arrested and accused of of stealing more than $22,000 in firearms, jewelry and electronics from at least four Howard County residences, they were released on $15,000 bail, Howard County court officials said this week.
Howard County prosecutors said they tried to increase the bond, but without success.
“I don’t believe $15,000 would be the first number that came to mind,” said Natasha M. Byus, the Howard County assistant state’s attorney handling the case. “I did not have an opportunity to speak with the commissioner before the bond was set.”
Both Joseph Leo Baumgarten, 40, and Dianna Lynn Marketti, 30, posted the full bail on Oct. 5 after being charged with 25 counts each, including first-, second- and fourth-degree burglary, breaking and entering and destruction of property for their alleged involvement in burglaries in Columbia, Ellicott City and Woodbine.
Police said the duo is suspected in 10 more burglaries that they haven’t yet been charged with, but followed a similar style— the suspects would kick-in a door, find their way to the master bedroom, ransack it and steal valuables.
In late September, police issued a statement asking residents to be vigilant after 10 burglaries matching this style occurred in one week.
According to Byus, the District Court Commissioner set the bail before the state’s attorney’s office could make a recommendation on the suspects’ bail.
Byus filed a motion shortly after the suspects were released on bail asking that the court set a bond of $600,000 for Baumgarten and $300,000 for Marketti.
In Byus’s motion, she noted that Baumgarten, of Pasadena, had violated his parole five times previously after being convicted of burglary for three offenses in 1996, one in 2002 and another in 2008. She also noted that Baumgarten had failed to appear in court for traffic offenses on five occasions.
Marketti, who is listed at an address in Dundalk in court records, currently has 15 active traffic cases, most of which are for driving on a suspended license, with one as recent as Sept. 26, according to court records.
In the court documents pertaining to this case, it was noted that in the four burglaries currently charged to Baumgarten and Marketti, police said they allegedly stole more than $10,000 worth of jewelry and six firearms, including a .40 caliber Beretta Cougar and a Taurus .38 special, among other items.
Howard County police, who tracked down the suspects through Baltimore Ravens tickets and combing local pawn shops, declined to comment on the suspects' release.
Byus said she has asked the court to place a hearing on the calendar as soon as possible to adjust the suspects’ bail in the case.
“I am hoping that a Circuit Court judge would consider the motion and provide an appropriate bond that would require their presence in upcoming hearings, and, more importantly, ensure the safety of Howard County residents,” said Byus.