With 3 arrests, police believe they've broken tool theft ring

May 20, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

State police said they have broken up a major tool theft operation and seized nearly $100,000 worth of stolen property and a cache of rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Police said the theft ring stole power and hand tools and other hardware from Hechinger stores and similar outlets in the Baltimore area. The items were to be sold at a flea market stall at the North Point Plaza in eastern Baltimore County, but investigators caught on to the scheme and in December confiscated eight truckloads of stolen goods, police said.

On Wednesday, police arrested James T. Miller, 55, of the 400 block of Hardin Drive in Joppatowne, and charged him with theft over $300 and conspiracy to commit theft over $300.

After obtaining a search warrant for Mr. Miller's home, police seized 18 rifles, 14 shotguns, eight handguns, an AR-15 rifle and an AK-47 rifle.

On Tuesday, police arrested two brothers, Don P. and Lonnie L. Shaulis, ages 44 and 45, respectively, both of the 200 block of Woodvale Road in Baltimore, and also charged them with theft over $300 and conspiracy to commit theft over $300.

The Shaulis brothers were being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $100,000 bond each. Mr. Miller, who was also charged with possession of a handgun after a felony drug conviction, was being held at the Harford County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

Police said the Shaulis brothers, both self-employed bricklayers, used a ruse to steal the tools from department stores. They would empty large boxes of low-cost merchandise, fill them with more expensive items, and reseal the boxes, police said.

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