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As Hurricane Sandy continued sweeping through St. Mary’s early Tuesday morning, police report, a burglar smashed the front sliding glass door of the Target store in California and stole clothing, before he encountered law officers responding to an alarm and escaped into nearby woods.

The break-in occurred at 1:22 a.m. that day, and the culprit also tried, unsuccessfully, to steal electronics gear from the business, according to Capt. Terry Black of the St. Mary’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The culprit left through the door he’d destroyed.

“When he came out the door, he saw the [arriving police] units, and that’s ... when he fled into the woods,” the captain said, “dropping the items he’d taken.”

A police dog searched the area, Black said, but the culprit could not be found. Police are reviewing surveillance video from the business.

The captain said no other business burglaries were reported while the storm was passing through the county. A break-in occurred earlier last weekend at the Tackle Box store in Lexington Park.

jwharton@somdnews.com