Elkton – On March 9, 2017 the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was contacted by investigators from the New Jersey State Police, according to Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams. The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) were actively conducting an investigation into multiple pieces of stolen heavy duty construction equipment.
Adamssaid that the NJSP had identified an Elkton resident as a suspect in the thefts. Surveillance operations were conducted and the suspect was observed traveling between Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.
The suspect was identified several times frequenting a property in the 2000 block of Barksdale Road, Elkton, according the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office. CCSO investigators also received a tip about the suspect which stated that he was responsible for several pieces of stolen property from multiple states, according to Adams.
Contact was then made with investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, Delaware State Police, and the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police. All of these agencies recently had thefts of equipment described in the tip made to Sheriff’s Office investigators.
Sheriff Adams said that he operated the Sheriff’s Office UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in an area where visual observations could be made of the property in question.
Officials said that several large pieces of construction equipment were observed to the rear of a large structure on the property.
After the aerial surveillance was conducted, investigators obtained and executed search and seizure warrants at the property on Barksdale Road and the suspect’s residence in Elkton. At the Barksdale Road property, seventeen pieces of construction equipment were seized, said Adams.
The investigation then led to another property on Telegraph Road in Elkton where three additional pieces of construction equipment were seized, Adams added.
At the suspect’s residence, investigators located multiple items including keys to the construction equipment that linked him to the stolen property, according to police. The seized equipment was identified by investigators.
Delaware State Police, New Jersey State Police, and Pennsylvania State Police all had taken stolen property reports for equipment found during the investigation.
The estimated total value of the equipment seizure was determined to be $394,000.00.
At this time, $243,000 in equipment has been returned to the victims.
Investigators are still working to find and identify the owners of the remainder of the seized property. The suspect’s name is being withheld at the request of investigators as this is an ongoing involving multiple law enforcement agencies. Additional arrests are expected to be made.
The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office recently initiated their UAV program. Sheriff Adams, along with other deputies completed training and are FAA certified, licensed UAV Pilots.