LA PLATA, Md. (Aug. 24, 2009)—Charles County Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said the observations of a passing citizen combined with good police work led to the arrest of Charles Lewis Calvert II, 36, of St. Mary's County, who allegedly stole a motorcycle from a commuter parking lot on Aug. 20.
At 1:45 p.m., a citizen observed two men loading a motorcycle into a Dodge minivan at the Mattawoman Park and Ride located at 3220 Mattawoman Beantown Road. After watching the men try to load a second motorcycle in the van, the witness became suspicious and called police, providing a description of the suspects and the van.
Officers responded to the area but the suspects were gone. A large perimeter was established and officers continued to canvass the streets, spotting the van near Route 5 and Moores Road. A check of the registration plate revealed the van had been reported stolen in another jurisdiction.
Officers initiated a traffic stop but the driver fled. Officers pursued the van to Woodyard Road where the van became disabled after a tire flattened. The driver was arrested without incident and a stolen, 2008 Yamaha motorcycle was recovered.
The second suspect was not in the van at the time of apprehension. Detectives believe he may have fled the commuter lot in a different vehicle.
Sheriff Coffey said the actions of the witness were commendable. "The witness did everything we ask people to do when they observe suspicious behavior. He immediately called police and provided an excellent description of the suspects." Citing the apprehension and recovery of the stolen autos, Sheriff Coffey praised patrol officers for extending the canvass outside the immediate area and following their instincts to locate the van.
Since May, at least 13 motorcycles, mostly sport bikes, have been reported stolen throughout the county. The thefts usually occur in the early morning hours during the weekdays. Detectives believe the suspects are stealing vans, removing the bench seats and then using the vans to transport the bikes away from the scene. At this point in the investigation, it is not known if Calvert is responsible for any of these thefts.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective Schwab at (301) 609-6474 or Detective Gross at (301) 609-6488. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for the tip that leads to the arrest and indictment of the suspects.
Source: Charles County Sheriff's Office