Baltimore, Md. (June 29, 2023) - Today, State's Attorney Ivan J. Bates announced the indictment of James Barnett, 54, on 20 counts in relation to a series of burglaries that occurred in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood in January and February of 2022. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial.
Barnett is indicted on the following charges:
- First Degree Burglary (2 counts)
- Second Degree Burglary (2 counts)
- Fourth Degree Burglary (4 counts)
- Attempted First Degree Burglary (2 counts)
- Attempted Second Degree Burglary (4 counts)
- Attempted Fourth Degree Burglary (2 counts)
- Theft (2 counts)
- Attempted Theft (2 counts)
“These break-ins, if proven to have occurred, indicate a disturbing pattern of complete disregard for personal property by the defendant,” said State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates. “This case demonstrates my commitment to holding repeat offenders accountable for their damaging actions and providing justice to the people of our great city.”
On January 24, 2022, at approximately 1:18 a.m., a Black male wearing a yellow and blue coat and Nike brand shoes was seen walking in the 1900 Block of Ashton Street. The male approached the front doors of residences 1933, 1935, and 1937 Ramsay Street – all vacant rowhomes – attempting to break into each of them. The man was unsuccessful in breaking into 1933 and 1935 Ramsay but successfully broke through the door of 1937. He was observed leaving with multiple items in his hands as he exited from 1937 Ramsay Street. These burglaries were recorded on video surveillance. All three properties are privately owned, and the observed individual was not permitted inside the units.
On February 24, 2022, an individual was observed entering the rear of the 2000 Block of Ashton Street while pushing a shopping cart with what appeared to be a blue tarp and a white-jacketed copper wire tied to the front. That same cart was located on February 25, 2022, to the rear of 2029 Ashton Street. A witness, who was the owner of the building, told law enforcement that no one should be living in his building and consented to a search of the building. During the search, officers observed obvious signs that a person(s) was living in the house and the electricity had been illegally hooked up. The officers located the same blue and yellow coat that the person of interest in the surveillance video was observed wearing on January 24, 2022.
Investigations continued in an effort to identify the person of interest. Facial recognition software and surveillance video footage review led law enforcement officers to interview a man wearing the same black and white Nike brand shoes from the video footage on January 24, 2022. James Barnett was identified to match the facial description and build of the person of interest, and he was wearing the attire when investigators identified him. Further investigation confirmed that Mr. Barnett owned a blue and yellow coat consistent with the coat the person was wearing in the video footage as they attempted to break into the Ramsay Street homes on January 24, 2022. He was also identified as the individual observed pushing the shopping cart with the blue tarp and white-jacketed wire found outside 2029 Ashton Street.