Car stolen from Westminster home found in southwest Baltimore City

Alex Mann
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

A vehicle that was stolen from a neighborhood in Westminster was recovered just after 9 p.m. Monday in southwest Baltimore, police said.

A Baltimore City police detective found the vehicle in the 700 block of Milyer Lane, Westminster police Capt. Peter D’Antuono wrote in an email to the Times on Tuesday morning. The vehicle, a black 2004 Jaguar XJ, was found with two flat tires and was abandoned.

“My wife and I are very grateful our vehicle was recovered,” Scott DeMario, owner of the car, said in a message to the Times. “And especially appreciative of the hard work of the (police unit) that found the car.”

DeMario said did not have extensive information about the Jaguar’s condition.

“I only know (the vehicle) has two flat tires and a few dents and dings, along with some scratches,” DeMario said. “As far as the inside, I have not been updated on the condition of that or the underneath.”

No arrests have been made at this time, D’Antuono wrote. The Jaguar was taken to the Baltimore police tow yard and th owner was notified that it had been found.

Investigators have processed the vehicle for forensic evidence, and results of those tests are pending, D’Antuono wrote.

The suspect used the valet key inside the car to steal it, according to D’Antuono. There were no signs of breaking into the vehicle, so it was likely unlocked, he said. Valet keys often can start the car without being able to unlock the trunk and are usually used when someone other than the owner is operating the vehicle, such as a valet parking attendant.

Westminster residents attended Monday night’s mayor and Common Council meeting en masse to express concerns about a recent uptick in crime, which included the car theft as well as two drug-related shootings last month.

DeMario was among those in attendance Monday night.

DeMario told the Times after the council meeting that he suspected there was a valet key inside the vehicle, considering “the car was at the garage two weeks ago.”

“My wife had her key,” DeMario said.

Westminster police said the vehicle theft was reported from Lodestone Court in Westminster Monday morning; it is believed to have been stolen between 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, and 6:50 a.m. Monday.

“So [Monday] morning I get a text at 6:45,” DeMario told the Times. “Neighbor said, ‘Hey, I found your owner’s manual to your car in my front yard.’ ”

DeMario added, “I thought, ‘That’s kinda weird,’ so I look outside my bedroom window and my car’s gone.”

Another neighbor who lives across the street talked to him in the morning, he said.

“He asked me if I was looking for the car,” DeMario said, “I said, ‘Yeah it’s gone … and [my neighbor] up the street says he has the manual.’ ”

The across-the-street neighbor proceeded to tell DeMario that he heard a car alarm blaring at about 4 a.m., so the neighbor looked out the window, DeMario recounted.

“He said, ‘I saw a tall, skinny, white male — black shorts, black T-shirt — walking up the sidewalk, got in your car, turned the key on, backed it up and left,’ ” DeMario explained. “[The neighbor] said, ‘It looked like somebody you knew, or one of you guys, the way they just nonchalantly walked up.’ ”

Westminster police Maj. Thomas Ledwell said several thefts from autos were reported nearby in the residential area south of Uniontown Road and are more than likely related to the vehicle theft. Monday’s incident was the second theft of a vehicle in Westminster — specifically in the area of Uniontown Road — in less than a month.

alex.mann@carrollcountytimes.com

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