After Maryland State Police located a car allegedly stolen from a dealership in Westminster, they found much more inside of it.
When troopers discovered the car at the Boston Inn in Westminster, they also found new electric fireplaces that had been taken from the Westminster Walmart, according to a news release from Maryland State Police.
A Manchester man, James Thomas Small Sr., 64, of the 3100 block of Main Street, has been charged with motor vehicle theft, theft $1,500 to under $25,000, unauthorized removal of motor vehicle, and theft $100 to under $1,500, police said.
Small is being held on a $5,000 bond, and a bail review was scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 28 in Carroll County District Court.
Maryland State Police troopers responded to a car dealership at 445 Baltimore Blvd. in Westminster on the morning of Dec. 27 for the report of a stolen vehicle. The complainant told police he discovered a 2017 Hyundai Sonata, valued at approximately $14,000, missing from the lot at 9:30 a.m.
The complainant said no one had been granted permission to test drive the vehicle, and that the keys were accidentally left in the vehicle on Dec. 26, and there were no tags affixed, according to the release.
After canvassing the area for the vehicle, a trooper saw the stolen vehicle without registration plates pulling into the Boston Inn, 533 Baltimore Blvd. in Westminster, and parking, according to police.
The driver, identified as Small, told troopers that he took the vehicle for a test drive, was doing some shopping and was planning to return the vehicle after he was finished, according to the police. When questioned about the vehicle not having tags, Small told troopers the dealer must have forgotten to put the tags on, according to police.
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Small was taken into custody, and troopers saw the brand new electric fireplaces, valued at $178, in the vehicle, according to the release. After further investigation, the fireplaces were determined to have been stolen from the Westminster Walmart just before Small was taken into custody, police said.