Manhunt spurred by false theft report pTC

September 25, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

An Oxon Hill courier was charged with making a false report Monday after he claimed he had been carjacked but later admitted he had concocted the story to avoid getting into trouble with his employer, state police said.

Based on the 5 a.m. report from James Earl Jackson, 44, state police conducted a rush-hour manhunt, using a helicopter, K-9 units and about 10 troopers from the Bel Air and John F. Kennedy barracks to search for the alleged carjackers, said Sgt. Randy Rudy.

Investigators said Mr. Jackson called police and said he and his company van had been carjacked by two men at the Maryland House rest stop on Interstate 95 near Aberdeen. Mr. Jackson reported that the men pistol-whipped him as they drove him around Harford County for about two hours. He told police he eventually escaped in the Campus Hills community and called ** 911.

Police quickly located the van nearby and began a manhunt.

Meanwhile, Cpl. Robert Perrot continued to question Mr. Jackson and noticed inconsistencies in the courier's story, police said.

The search was halted about 8:30 a.m. after Mr. Jackson admitted what had happened, police said.

Police said Mr. Jackson eventually told them that he had been driving a company van from Washington to Philadelphia when he made an unscheduled stop at the Maryland House and fell asleep in the van about 1:15 a.m.

Police quoted him as saying that when he awoke at 3 a.m., he realized he was behind schedule and briefly went into the rest stop. When he returned, he discovered money and a cellular phone had been stolen from the unlocked van.

Police said Mr. Jackson told them he drove to Churchville, abandoned the van and called police to make the bogus report.

Joseph DeBlase, the office manager at Network Courier and Attorney Service Inc., in Washington, said Mr. Jackson, a part-time employee since April 1992, has been fired.

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