The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects in connection with a string of incidents in the Cranberry Road area of Westminster.
Aaron Carl Thomas, a 23-year-old from Westminster, was taken into custody Friday at around 7 a.m., according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. Thomas was a person of interest in incidents involving burglaries, thefts and malicious destruction of property cases in the area of the 200 block of Cranberry Road.
The cases extended from June 6 through this week, according to the release. The total value of items stolen from these incidents was estimated to be more than $34,000, and the total value of damaged property was estimated at over $700, according to the release.
An investigation allegedly revealed that Thomas and Melissa Ann Hartless, a 25-year-old female, broke into and were living out of an abandoned townhouse on Alymer Court, according to the release.
Thomas is charged with six counts of first-degree burglary, one count of fourth-degree burglary, six counts of theft and two counts malicious destruction of property.
Hartless is charged with first-degree burglary and false statement.
At about 7 a.m. Friday, July 14, members of the Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of 201 Alymer Court in Westminster for the sighting of a “wanted” person in the area, according to the statement of probable cause. After canvassing, deputies found Thomas.
When they returned to the area of 201 Alymer Court, a citizen told deputies he saw a man, later identified as Thomas, leave the residence moments before law enforcement arrived. The citizen also told officials a woman, later identified as Hartless, who was sitting on a curb in front of the residence, also exited the residence before officials came, according to the statement of probable cause.
The Westminster Police Department contacted Safe Guard Properties, the property management company in charge of the property on Alymer, which told police no one had permission to be in the property, according to the statement. An investigation showed entry into the property was made through a broken glass door, according to the statement of probable cause.
Thomas was arrested and found in possession of three PNC Bank debit cards and an SECU Credit Union ATM card issued to a woman. He was transported for questioning where he stated he was homeless, invoked his rights and declined to speak with officials from the Sheriff’s Office, according to the statement.
At 7:40 a.m. Friday, Hartless was arrested and upon arrest, told the deputy she had lied about her identity, according to the statement. She told officials she was homeless, invoked her rights and declined to talk to law enforcement.
The investigation showed, according to the statement of probable cause, that on June 6, a man reported that his battery jump box was stolen from his driveway. The man told officials he was suspicious of Thomas, who had been evicted from his residence in the 200 block of N. Cranberry Road two months prior.
The Sheriff’s Office was contacted for a report of another burglary, which occurred sometime between June 16 and June 29 at another location in the 200 block of N. Cranberry Road, according to the statement. This burglary resulted in the theft of firearms, jewelry and DVDs.
On July 8, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted in regard to a burglary at the first residence in the 200 block of N. Cranberry Road. A man was at his home and heard glass breaking, according to the statement of probable cause.
The man told officials he observed a broken basement window, and also saw Thomas lying underneath a vehicle parked on the property. He confronted Thomas, who fled on foot before deputies arrived.
That same night, deputies responded again to the residence for another broken window. The man reported money had been taken from a safe in the home, according to the statement of probable cause.
On July 8, a third person in the 200 block of N. Cranberry Road reported a burglary in the area. According to the statement of probable cause, the person reported a basement window was broken, and jewelry and miscellaneous items were stolen.
The woman whose credit cards were found in Thomas’ possession reported a burglary on July 12, according to the statement. The woman told law enforcement she took a nap between 7 and 11 p.m. that night, and when she awoke, she found her belongings rummaged through.
Thomas is being held without bail. He has a court date Sept. 15, according to electronic court records.
Hartless is also being held without bail. She has a court date Aug. 16, according to electronic court records.
Anyone with additional information about these cases is asked to contact Detective Ehrhart at 410-386-5900, or the Anonymous TIPS Hotline at 1-888-399-TIPP.