Matthew Thomas Durange


CHARLESTOWN — A man remained jailed Tuesday after investigators linked him to a rash of house burglaries here in which he allegedly stole numerous items, including approximately $10,000 in jewelry, a television and an array of power tools, according to Cecil County District Court records.

When Maryland State Police investigators arrested Matthew Thomas Durange, 33, on Thursday at his Charlestown residence — where searchers recovered several stolen items during a raid — they confiscated a plastic baggie containing suspect heroin mixed with fentanyl and a hypodermic needle from him, police said.

Investigators seized the suspect heroin/fentanyl and paraphernalia after finding them in his pants pocket during a pat-down search while taking him into custody, police added.

MSP Trooper Jered Arment started his investigation on Jan. 8, when he responded to the 300 block of Colonial Drive after a man reported that someone had burglarized his mother’s residence, garage and shed on an unknown date while she was out of time for a period of time, police reported.

Arment determined that a pry tool had been used to force open doors to the home, garage and shed, as well as to open a residential window, police said. Sterling silver and other pieces of jewelry valued at about $10,000 and a Sanyo 32-inch LCD television valued at $150 were among the items missing, police added.

After finding the television’s serial number inside the box in which the TV had been packaged, Arment checked a law enforcement computer database and learned that Durange had pawned that TV on Dec. 26 at an Elkton-area pawn shop, court records allege.

The trooper “visually confirmed that the serial number on the TV matched” during a follow-up investigation at that pawn shop, according to court records.

Arment then confirmed that Durange also had pawned numerous items of jewelry belonging to the victim, police reported.

The investigation revealed that the homes or outbuildings of two other Colonial Drive residents also had been burglarized, police said. The property reported stolen by those neighbors included a miter saw, a hedge trimmer, a leaf blower, a weed whacker, a chainsaw and an air purifier, police added.

That led to Thursday’s court-approved search of Durange’s residence, where investigators found and recovered several pieces of property that the two neighbors had reported stolen, police reported.

“While speaking with investigators, Durange admitted that he did have a drug problem. Durange stated that he used a tire iron to gain entry into the residences. Durange admitted to stealing a TV, saw and multiple items of jewelry,” court records allege.

Durange, who remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond on Tuesday, is facing 10 charges, including theft of more than $1,500 and less than $25,000 and three counts of first-degree burglary, court records show.

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