Amid thefts, police urge workers to note serial numbers on tools

14 vehicles broken into in early morning hours

April 04, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

In the wake of a recent rash of tool thefts, state police are urging Manchester-area contractors who store industrial power tools in company trucks or vans to keep a list of serial numbers for their tools.

According to Detective Sgt. Mike Kane, who heads the criminal investigation division at the Maryland State Police barracks in Westminster, 14 vehicles were broken into between March 25 and March 28. Eleven of the thefts occurred within the town limits of Manchester, and all happened between midnight and 3: 30 a.m., Kane said.

"The losses extend well into thousands of dollars," he said.

In two instances, the vehicles also were stolen, Kane said. A few of the thefts were from locked toolboxes in the beds of pickup trucks, but most were from larger vans or trucks that had company logos on the side, he said.

Providing a list of serial numbers for stolen items will greatly aid in tracking down the missing items, if they are pawned or sold on the street for cash, Kane said.

Kane also recommended that Carroll County residents be suspicious if someone offers to sell an expensive power tool cheaply.

"This series of crimes is totally out of the ordinary," said Lt. Terry Katz, barracks commander. "Manchester is not a high-crime area and, while we have had occasional vehicle break-ins in the county, we have not had a series of such stolen-tool incidents in a tight, well-defined geographic area."

Anyone with information about the thefts should contact state police in Westminster at 410-386- 3000.

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