Trusting Alleged Thieves/Extortionists Betrayed By Victim
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (March 6, 2008)—James Price, 46, of Lexington Park, was arrested yesterday after allegedly stealing property from a vehicle in California, Maryland and then trying to sell it back to the owner. An undercover detective posed as the victim and made the arrest during the scheduled meet with Price. A second man, Dwayne Antonio Butler, 20, also of Lexington Park, was also arrested for the crime.
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office reported that yesterday a victim reported that his vehicle had been entered sometime during the night while located at his residence. A laptop computer and camera, among other items, valued at $1,600 were stolen.
The victim told police that a suspect called him in the morning, after apparently obtaining his phone number from items located inside the vehicle. The victim said the suspect offered to return his property for $50.00 in cash.
The victim said that an additional conversation later took place with a different suspect at which time the demand for money increased to $175.
BCI detectives setup a surveillance operation on the area in Lexington Park where the suspects told the victim to meet and pay for the return of his property. An undercover BCI detective posed as the victim and was approached by Price, who police say was carrying the victim's laptop computer and camera. Price was arrested by the detectives.
BCI Detectives subsequently learned the identity of the second suspect, Dwayne Antonio Butler. Detectives located Butler at Price's residence in Lexington Park. Police say additional property belonging to the victim was recovered at the residence.
Price and Butler were both charged with theft over $500 and extortion. They were incarcerated at the St. Mary's County Detention Center.