West Columbia

July 28, 1993

Adults, juveniles arrested in van stolen from rental car company

Three adults and two juveniles, all from Baltimore, were arrested last night after they were seen cruising in a stolen van in the parking lot of The Mall in Columbia, Howard County police said.

The five were charged with theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The driver, Joseph Cornelius White, 40, of the 400 block of Gwynn Ave., was released on $2,500 bond. Mr. White is a former employee of the Avis-Rent-A-Car company in Baltimore. The vehicle he was driving had been reported stolen from the Avis Rental company in Virginia, police said.

Lawrence Phillip Lewis, 19, of the 1800 block of Clifton Ave., and Oliver Lee Crawford, 19, of the 2000 block of McKean Ave., were both released on personal recognizance. The 15-year-old and the 17-year-old juveniles involved were released into the custody of their parents.

About 9 p.m. Monday night, an officer patrolling The Mall's parking lot ran the license number of a Dodge Caravan through a computer check and found that both the van and the tags had been stolen. The tags belonged to a 1992 Pontiac, which had also been stolen from the Avis company, police said.

The officer followed the van to the northbound exit of Routes 29 and 108, where other officers assisted in apprehending the vehicle, police said.

The Town Center area has been plagued by car thefts this summer, including a trend of 14 Acura Legends and Honda Accords stolen since early June. Police have recovered all but four of the stolen autos in Baltimore city, police said.

POLICE LOG

* Harpers Choice: 5400 block of Beaver Kill Road: Someone stole the aluminum hubcaps from a gold Ford Escort late Friday or early Saturday. The stolen property was valued at $400.

* Hickory Ridge: 10300 block of Hickory Ridge Road: A $100 wicker table and chair set was stolen from a patio on Friday or Saturday.

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