BURTONSVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - A sloppy mistake landed a man, accused of breaking into a Montgomery County townhome on Thanksgiving 2012, with a guilty verdict.
During trial, a jury found on the evening of Nov. 22, 2012, Raoul Hughes, 43, of Boyds, drove to the Greencastle Lakes neighborhood in Burtonsville. Posing as a telephone company technician, Hughes used wire cutters to snap one home's telephone and cable lines. The 43-year-old then smashed-out the rear basement sliding-glass door. Once inside, Hughes made a beeline for the upstairs master bedroom where he rummaged through a closet and dresser, stealing more than $6,155 in jewelry, much of it irreplaceable family heirlooms.
"You never think it's going to happen to you," the female homeowner, who 16 months later is still too afraid to be identified, said. "You always feel safe in your home, and that night I didn't feel safe at all, I felt pretty violated."
Hughes, who wore black leather gloves while committing the break-in, cut himself on a shard of glass while squeezing through the back door. In turn, he left investigators with blood samples on a bathroom wall and bedroom pillow. When lab technicians processed the blood samples, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) pinpointed Hughes as the culprit.
"This is a career criminal with former arrests for attempted murder, assault and drug possession," Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff said following Thursday's verdict. "He doesn't care about other people's property, he doesn't care about the sanctity of one's home, and we're just glad we're able to gain this conviction."
Since the break-in, the female homeowner has spent $1,200 to install steel bars over her basement door and window. She tells ABC7, it's a cold vantage, one she's glad Hughes will soon see as well.
"Knowing that he was convicted, that he was found guilty, and that he's going to be put away for awhile, that's closure for me," the female homeowner surmised.
Originally charged with seven counts, a jury found Hughes guilty on two: 1st Degree Burglary and Theft Over $1,000. A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge will sentence Hughes on April 15. He faces up to 35 years in state prison.