Before anyone should be charged with a crime, Maryland police need to do adequate investigations and obtain enough evidence before they formally arrest or charge a suspect. If they don’t, Silver Spring law enforcement may cause considerable damage to a person’s reputation and job by making unwarranted accusations. With something as serious as a theft ring, arresting someone after an insufficient investigation could expose a suspect to harsh consequences, even if he or she is able to get the charges dropped.
In a recent sting operation, law enforcement has arrested 22 people on suspicion of theft with over 100 different arrest warrants and after only three weeks of investigation. Police are claiming that the supposed theft ring has stolen utility trailers, personal vehicles, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, commercial trucks and four-wheelers. They believe over $160,000 worth of property has been taken.
Approximately three weeks ago, two officers claim they found similarities between several alleged burglaries in an Anderson County, South Carolina, neighborhood. This prompted the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office to spend merely three weeks investigating before making their arrests.
Officers have said the theft ring has been working at least since 2009, but it is unclear what suddenly connected a string of apparent burglaries and led to the numerous charges against the 22 individuals. It also seems that law enforcement was relying on reports of stolen vehicles, but the owners were unable to provide serial numbers or other identifying characteristics of the stolen property, making it difficult for police to actually confirm that the property they allegedly found was connected to any Anderson County thefts.
While police have not given much information about the supposed evidence they have collected, if these 22 suspects were in Maryland, it is likely they would face harsh prison sentences or heavy fines if convicted.
Source: Anderson Independent Mail, “Investigators charge 22 in Upstate theft ring,” Nikkie Mayo, Nov. 17, 2011