A Lanham man has been arrested and charged with theft and unlawful taking of a vehicle after a stolen car was recovered in Charles County on March 29th.
According to reports, the arrest came after a patrol officer followed up on an investigation involving a car he had stopped the previous day. After conducting a computer check through the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA), the officer discovered that the registration plates were not on file. Further investigation, with the assistance of an auto theft investigator, revealed that the vehicle identification number (VIN) had been altered and displayed inconsistencies with the make and model of the vehicle it was being displayed on.
The car was subsequently identified as a vehicle that had been reported stolen in another county in January of this year. The suspect, Demitrius Khaos Lewis, 27, of Lanham, was arrested and charged with theft and unlawful taking of a vehicle.
Officer Brown, who investigated the incident, stated that “the recovery of the stolen vehicle was a direct result of the diligent work by the patrol officer and the assistance of the auto theft investigator.”
After being taken into custody, Lewis appeared before a district court commissioner on March 29th. The commissioner ordered that Lewis could be released from the Charles County Detention Center on personal recognizance.
This incident highlights the importance of diligent police work and the use of technology to aid in investigations. The MVA’s database was able to reveal that the registration plates on the vehicle were not on file, which ultimately led to the discovery that the car had been stolen.
The recovery of stolen vehicles is a top priority for law enforcement agencies across the country. In 2020, over 873,000 motor vehicles were reported stolen in the United States, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The NICB recommends that car owners take precautions to prevent theft, such as locking their vehicles and not leaving valuables in plain sight. Additionally, installing an anti-theft device and parking in well-lit areas can also help deter potential thieves.
As for Lewis, he will now face charges related to the theft and unlawful taking of a vehicle. It is unclear at this time if he has obtained legal representation or when he is due back in court.