鶹ý

‘The scope of this investigation is enormous’: 15,000 stolen tools recovered in Howard Co.

Howard County police recover construction tools

Police in Howard County, Maryland, have recovered more than 15,000 stolen pieces of construction equipment valued at between $3 million and $5 million in what officials said is “one of the largest and most expansive theft cases in the region in recent years.”

“The scope of this investigation is enormous and it’s ongoing,” Howard County police Chief Gregory Der said at a news conference. “It is a huge undertaking.”

“We have identified more than 80 victims to date, mostly from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, and believe there are hundreds, if not thousands, more,” Der said.

The investigation began in January, when one of those victims, from Virginia, had equipment stolen that had a tracking device inside. That led police to a storage unit in Elkridge, and eventually officers conducted search warrants on 12 total locations, 11 of which were in Howard County, according to Der.

According to police, the tools were stolen from retail stores, businesses, vehicles, residential properties and construction sites and were kept in storage units.

Police said they’ve set up a website where . A detective will reach out to everyone who submits an online entry.

“We’ve heard from victims who have lost work because of their tools. It goes way beyond the cost of replacing these tools,” Der said.

pile of stolen tools
A pile of stolen tools recovered by police in Howard County, Maryland. (Courtesy Howard County police)
pile of stolen tools
(Courtesy Howard County police)
pile of stolen tools
(Courtesy Howard County police)
tools in a warehouse
(Courtesy Howard County police)
(1/4)
pile of stolen tools
pile of stolen tools
pile of stolen tools
tools in a warehouse

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS 鶹ý, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Federal 鶹ý Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.