Buyers of property stolen in a series of Columbia burglaries have until Aug. 1 to return it or face felony charges, county police warn.
"If someone has purchased electronic equipment within the past four months at an exceptionally good price, they should contact the police department," spokesman Sgt. Gary Gardner said.
Police can check the item's serial number against a list of stolen property to see if it came from the recent break-ins, he said. Property without serial numbers should be turned in immediately.
"Property on which the serial number is obliterated, that in and of itself is a crime," Sergeant Gardner added.
On Wednesday, stolen electronic equipment led police to arrest a man they believe to have broken into at least 30 homes in the Tamar Drive area of Long Reach village. In most of the burglaries, electronic equipment and jewelry were taken.
Police charged Kevin Maurice Harding, 30, of the 8800 block of Flowerstock Row in Columbia, with two counts of burglary and one count each of of felony theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said an area resident who bought a television, videocassette recorder and microwave oven from Harding heard the string of burglaries and feared the property was stolen. He contacted county detectives, who confirmed the property came from a Long Reach apartment.
Police arrested Harding without incident at a family member's home in Highland.
Harding was jailed Wednesday in the county detention center in lieu of $100,000 bond.
The paraphernalia charge stemmed from the discovery of pipes, vials and a silver spoon in a July 3 search of Harding's home while he was out.
Charging documents indicate Harding has been arrested before, connection with break-ins in 1980, 1982 and 1986. He has also been arrested since 1980 on assault, resisting arrest and violation of probation charges.