Police follow device's signal to find stolen car

January 07, 1998|By Dail Willis and Jamie Smith | Dail Willis and Jamie Smith,SUN STAFF

A stolen Howard County vehicle equipped with an electronic tracing system led authorities to a Baltimore garage described by police yesterday as a "chop shop."

Police raided the three-bay garage in the 600 block of N. Pulaski St. and made two arrests. They also recovered five vehicles believed to have been stolen, in addition to the 1998 Jeep Cherokee reported stolen in Howard County.

Arrested were Eric Jackson, 29, of the 5400 block of Belle Vista Ave. and Kim Gladney, 36, who told police he lived in the garage.

Police said Jackson was a bail bondsman at Manny's Bail Bonds, also in the 600 block of Pulaski.

City and county police officers assigned to the joint Regional Auto Theft Team tracked the stolen Jeep, locating it with the help of a police helicopter.

"It was in a courtyard in a city block -- there was only one driveway in and out," said Sgt. Bob Jagoe of the Baltimore County Police Department. Although officers on the ground had trouble locating the garage, the helicopter was able to find it quickly, he said.

When officers entered the garage, the wheels had been removed from the stolen Cherokee and installed on another car.

dTC The incident began when Thomas Tozzini, who lives in Woodbine and works in Ellicott City, reported his silver Cherokee stolen from the parking lot of his office building shortly before 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Tozzini could see the car being driven away from his office after his LoJack device signaled that it had been stolen. "We were watching it sit at a traffic light up the street which was infuriating," he said yesterday.

Police followed the car, which was driven for nearly three hours around Baltimore, and tracked it to the Pulaski address.

Once inside the garage Monday night, police said, they found another vehicle reported stolen and four that might have been stolen -- all four had stripped ignition locks.

Jackson was charged with auto theft. Gladney was arrested on an outstanding warrant stemming from a civil case in which he was sued by a woman unhappy with her auto repairs, Jagoe said.

Pub Date: 1/07/98

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