- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Charles County Sheriff’s Office’s collaboration with citizens is paying off, with police reporting three arrests directly attributed to information provided by residents.
Two people were arrested July 2 for thefts within hours of each other. In both cases, the sheriff’s office was notified by concerned citizens.
At 2:40 a.m., officers went to the 500 block of Fallen Timber Way in Indian Head after the owner of a Chevrolet truck reported that someone had stolen center caps and lug nuts from the vehicle. As officers approached the area, they spotted a silver Ford Taurus leaving the neighborhood.
Officers attempted to stop the car, but the driver took off and crashed into a guardrail, according to information provided by the sheriff’s office. The occupants jumped out of the vehicle and ran. Patrol officers set up a perimeter, and police dog team Cpl. J. Freeman and his partner Brix were called to assist with the search.
One man, Derrick Dwight Dew, 27, of Washington, D.C., was located hiding near a school. He was arrested, and officers found him with burglary tools. Officers also found four Yokohama tires and two sets of Chevy center caps in the car Dew jumped out of. Officers linked the tires they found in the suspects’ car to a vehicle they found sitting on landscaping blocks. Dew was taken to the Charles County jail and charged with two counts of theft and one count of rogue and vagabond.
Later that morning, at 4:08, officers went to the 4300 block of Crain Highway in White Plains after a witness called to report suspicious activity. The witness provided officers with a description of several men who were in the process of stealing tires from a Ford Mustang that was parked in a nearby parking lot.
Pfc. S. Weedon and Sgt. S. Myers were on the scene within a minute, according to information from a sheriff’s office news release. Once at the scene, officers saw at least two suspects running away from the area. According to the release, officers noticed tires had been removed from a car. Officers searched the area, and Freeman and Brix were called in and immediately began a track, which went south toward DeMarr Road. Officers then spotted three suspects running across Crain Highway to Stanhaven Place, where they split up.
One of the men, Marcellus Frank Burns, 19, of Washington, D.C., was quickly caught, according to the release. He was transported to the county jail and charged with two counts of theft and one count of rogue and vagabond.
Detectives are in the process of identifying the two who ran off.
Dew and Burns were later released on personal recognizance.
According to the news release, it is not clear whether the cases are linked, and both investigations are continuing.
The next day, officers responded to another call from a witness who saw something out of the ordinary.
The sheriff’s office reported that at 1:58 p.m. July 3, a witness called police to report suspicious activity. The witness saw two men trying to dismantle an air conditioner in the back of a pickup behind a store in Bryantown, police reported. The witness wrote down the tag number of the truck and a description before the two men left the store.
Sheriff’s officers spotted the truck, and when they stopped it, they learned that the men, both of California, had stolen the air conditioner from Anne Arundel County and sold some metal parts to a local dealer. Officers went to the scrap dealer, retrieved the parts and contacted the other police jurisdictions.
Charges are pending further investigation, police said.
Sheriff Rex Coffey said that the three incidents represent exactly what the sheriff’s office is asking of its community, to be a nosy neighbor.
“More and more people are getting involved and wanting to make a difference,” he said.
Coffey said that while officers try, they cannot be everywhere. He said he appreciates all those who help out by calling in tips and reporting suspicious activity.
Coffey said he is appreciative of the community “being our eyes and ears.”
The sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone who sees something suspicious to call police immediately.