BERLIN – A Catonsville juvenile wanted in connection with a two-week spree of car break-ins and thefts throughout northern Worcester County late last month was arrested last week after local law enforcement agencies were able to identify him and his vehicle through surveillance tapes at stores where he used a stolen bank card.
As many as 76 vehicles had items stolen from them in several West Ocean City communities, Ocean Pines and Selbyville, Del. over a 12-day stretch that began around Dec. 18 and continued until last Saturday, Dec. 29. Maryland State Police SCOUT (Shore Criminal Observation Uniform Team) members began to work the investigation and were able to identify the suspect and make an arrest just three days later.
Stolen from one vehicle during the spree was a bankcard, which had been used at various retail stores across the Eastern Shore. Store security cameras captured images of a white male suspect using the stolen card and also captured images of his black, two-door vehicle. Starting the next day, several vehicles matching the description were stopped by SCOUT members in an effort to identify the suspect.
Police also patrolled the areas the suspect was known to frequent hoping to spot him or his vehicle engaged in criminal activity. The first real break in the case came when the Ocean Pines Police reported a black VW Rabbit matching the description in areas where thefts had previously occurred.
The vehicle was located and a suspect was developed from MVA photos and the descriptions ascertained from the surveillance cameras. Police then began gathering information on the suspect through addresses, family members and vehicles. SCOUT members then contacted the Baltimore County Police to drive by the suspect’s parent’s Catonsville address to see if the vehicle was there, which it was. Around 3 a.m. on Dec. 31, SCOUT members responded to the Catonsville address and located the suspect. A search of the vehicle and the residence turned up a .25-caliber handgun, a watch, numerous electronic devices, three digital cameras, small tools and two I-pods. Also found were law enforcement credentials, numerous stolen electronic devices, power tools and ammunition.
The suspect was returned to Worcester County and charged with eight counts of felony theft, 43 counts of misdemeanor theft, and 50 counts of theft scheme. The suspect also faces multiple felony charges in that state as well.