CONOWINGO – Investigators are crediting an alert Charlestown resident with helping them identify and arrest two men allegedly responsible for a string of vehicle break-ins in Conowingo, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
Cecil County Sheriff's Office detectives had been investigating thefts from several parked vehicles – predominantly on Gerald's Way in Conowingo - for about two days, when they caught a break in their case last week, police reported. Those thefts had occurred during a two-day period, starting on Nov. 12, police noted.
At about 5 a.m. on Thursday, a resident on Ogle Street in Charlestown saw a grey Subaru Forester parked at the end of his driveway, police said. He saw an unknown man get out of that SUV and then try to get into vehicles parked in that driveway, police added.
The stranger got into the SUV and sped away, when the resident tried to confront him, police reported.
But the incident did not end there.
“The resident was able to pursue the vehicle and obtain a (license plate number),” according to court records, which further indicate that the resident also gave a description of the suspect vehicle when he called authorities.
A computer check by CCSO detectives revealed that the Subaru Forester is registered to Mason Riley Taylor, 19, of Charlestown, police said.
As the investigation continued, police added, CCSO detectives were able to link Taylor to Jeffrey Allen Creek Jr., 18, of the 1000 block of Jacob Tome Highway near Port Deposit.
That led to investigators conducting surveillance outside of Creek's residence on Thursday afternoon, when detectives spotted the described Subaru Forester in the driveway and then saw “two individuals removing items from the passenger compartment of the Subaru,” according to court records.
Based on what the investigators had observed and on “other corroborating evidence,” CCSO detectives obtained a warrant to search the Subaru Forester and Creek's residence, police reported.
During those court-approved searches, CCSO detectives confiscated belongings that had been reported stolen in approximately a half-dozen thefts that occurred between Nov. 12 and early Thursday morning in the 100 and 200 blocks of Gerald's Way, as well as in the unit block of Finnegan's Place, court records allege.
The list of stolen property includes a Visa debit card, prescription medication, sunglasses, a flashlight and several other belongings, police reported.
“Two items in particular that were reported stolen – a Savage 220 .20 gauge shotgun and a Diamond Edge Pro 320 hunting bow – were recovered inside the house,” court records allege.
Police also noted that, during the two-day period in which the thefts from the vehicles had occurred, one resident in the 100 block of Gerald's Way reported that someone had broken the $250 side window of his 2001 Ford truck.
CCSO detectives arrested Creek and Taylor after the searches, police reported.
Both free on personal recognizance, Creek and Taylor are each charged with 19 criminal offenses, including multiple counts of theft, malicious destruction of property and rogue and vagabond, according to court records. Both are scheduled for Jan. 3 trials, court records show.