- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Charlotte Hall man who fled police Jan. 31 before crashing his truck into a ditch and trying to run away has been arrested in connection with nine rim and tire thefts since March.
Investigators have charged Rodney Peter Quarles Jr. with the nine thefts and suspect his involvement in others, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
The chase began as a 2:40 a.m. investigation into two suspicious vehicles that were parked at Bensville Park in Waldorf. The park is closed after dark.
Officer D. Harrison noticed the vehicles — a Chevrolet Tahoe and a passenger car — and followed them as they left the park. He tried to pull them over on Bensville Road near Route 228, but the Tahoe fled onto the highway toward Prince George’s County while the car fled in another direction.
Harrison and other officers pursued the truck, which crashed into a roadside ditch after striking stop sticks deployed by one of the officers.
The driver, identified as Quarles, tried to flee on foot but was apprehended. During a search of the Tahoe, officers found four GMC 20-inch chrome rims with tires in the back of the SUV. They also found a ski mask, auto jack, lug nut tools and landscaping bricks.
Officers could not initially identify a theft victim, but charged Quarles with fleeing and eluding police, failing to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest. He was taken to Charles County jail and released on his own recognizance, according to online court records.
At 6:50 a.m., a few hours after Quarles’ arrest, officers responded to a home in the 7900 block of Monarch Street in White Plains where a woman reported 20-inch chrome rims and tires had been stolen from her GMC Yukon, which had been left on landscaping logs. She identified the rims and tires found in the back of Quarles’ Tahoe as her own.
Officers arrested Quarles and charged him Feb. 1 with felony theft, rogue and vagabond and fourth-degree burglary. He was released on $5,000 bond, according to online court records.
Detectives continued investigating and determined Quarles had been involved in eight other tire and rim thefts in Waldorf between March 23 and Jan. 10.
Quarles was again arrested Feb. 8 and charged with seven counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, theft of less than $1,000, three counts of fourth-degree burglary and eight counts each of possession of burglar’s tools and rogue and vagabond. He was released on $20,000 bond, according to online court records.
Investigators suspect Quarles is responsible for other wheel thefts and believe he did not act alone.
In the months since it began investigating the thefts, the sheriff’s office has increased neighborhood patrols and distributed fliers to at-risk vehicle owners. It urged citizens to remain vigilant. Anyone with information about the wheel thefts should call the sheriff’s office at 301-932-7777.