Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder Of Robert Wone

Another Home Invasion

Less than three months after Robert Wone's death, someone broke into the Price-Zaborsky townhouse and stole $7,700 worth of electronics.

Police quickly arrested Phelps Collins, 36, and charged him with burglary. They believe that he had an accomplicewho happened to be Joe Price's brother, Michael, 34. While the Swann Street house's residents were away on vacation, the two allegedly had unlocked the door with Michael Price's key and turned off the alarm. The thieves got away with some high-end electronic equipment, including a plasma TV. Police found some of the stolen items just a few blocks away at Sam's Pawnbrokers and traced them to Collins.

Joe Price and the police say the men sold the other equipment for drugs.

Michael Price was arrested a few hours after the crimenot for the break-in, but for allegedly stealing the Mercury Sable that his domestic partner had reported missing. Police say that they found what appeared to be a crack pipe in the car, and Price's partner showed them more stolen electronics in the trunk. Michael Price had already been charged in several drug crimes, and he'd soon enter rehab.

This burglary may have been a coincidence, or a replay of an earlier act. Or it may have been intended to remind the obviously skeptical police that break-ins are no rarity in Dupont Circle. Or perhaps it was some bizarre attempt to get rid of evidence, if the extensive policework hadn't already collected it all.

Whatever the motive for this crime, it made Michael Price a person of interest in the murderespecially after investigators realized that he had missed his phlebotomy class the same night that Wone was killed.

But Michael Price's partner insists they were asleep in bed together on August 2. And as of March 2010, police haven't charged him with anything. But cops do complain that the burglary derailed an arrest they'd expected to make in the case.

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