BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office says its drone program has helped recover from a Maryland man’s properties almost $400,000 worth of construction equipment stolen from other states.
According to a news release from the department, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted on March 9 by New Jersey State Police investigators.
NJSP said officers were conducting an investigation into multiple pieces of stolen heavy duty equipment and had identified an Elkton resident as a suspect.
“Based on the investigation they were moving one or two items at a time. This wasn’t one theft these were multiple thefts over a period of time and the property was being stored at the address,” says Lt. Michael Holmes with Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.
Surveillance operations allegedly showed the suspect frequenting a piece of property in the 2000 block of Barksdale Road in Elkton.
Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams flew the drone in the area of the properties in question, and several large pieces of construction equipment were observed to the rear of a large structure on the property.
“This was actually the first outside of training operation, where we put one up so we’re pleased with the outcome so far,” says Sheriff Scott Adams, Cecil County Sherriff’s Office.
Investigators then obtained and executed search and seizure warrants there and the suspect’s residence.
At the Barksdale Road property, 17 pieces of construction equipment were seized.
The investigation then led to another property on Telegraph Road Elkton where three additional pieces of construction equipment were seized.
“We know it was being stored at this place here but obviously, it was being taken from a widespread area but we’re still trying to determine where exactly the property was going. Some of the property was being used for construction jobs. We’ve been able to confirm that here locally,” says Lt Michael Holmes, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office,” says Lt. Holmes.
At the suspect’s residence, investigators allegedly located multiple items, including keys to the construction equipment, that linked him to the stolen property.
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.
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 name of the suspect in this investigation is being withheld at the request of investigators. Additional arrests are expected to be made.