DUNDALK, Md: - A prominent Baltimore businessman is offering to help replace the a set of metal gates that were stolen from one of the community’s historic War of 1812 monuments.
Baltimore County officials confirmed that Ed Hale Jr., founder of First Mariner Bank, will donate money to help restore Battle Acre Monument located off North Point Road.
Del. John Olszewski Jr., D-Dundalk, said he approached Hale about helping out with repairing the gates after they were stolen in June.
“We had many conversations about it,” he said. “Ed has many contacts and was helpful in providing guidance.”
John Long, founder of the environmental group Clean Bread and Cheese Creek, partnered with other Dundalk residents to help raise money to replace the gates.
He worries the gates won’t be restored to their historical integrity.
“You can’t just have anyone replace them,” Long said. “We have to make sure they are recreated they way they originally were.”
Olzsewski said the gates would be restored according to the original design. He added the upgrades would be finished before the Star-Spangled Spectacular this fall.
George Elias Sotirakis, 34, of the 2500 block of Woodwell Rd. was charged with stealing the gates.
A contractor that was working on renovations at the park noticed that two 100-year-old gates were missing on June 30. The gates were last seen on June 25.
The gates had a replacement value of $4,000 and an estimated actual value of $10,000 due to their historic nature.
Detectives identified Sotirakis as a suspect through surveillance video, information from local scrap yards, and other investigative methods.