Lancaster City Police charge eight adults and seven juveniles in connection with five burglaries and six auto thefts over the past several months.
The first incident occurred on August 19, 2013 when an unlocked 2006 Honda Civic with a spare key in the center console was stolen from the 700 blk. of Second St. This vehicle was recovered on August 24th after it was abandoned in the drive-through lane of the McDonalds at 210 W. King St., Lancaster. An employee at the McDonalds recognized the driver of the stolen vehicle, and the driver, a 15-year-old male, abandoned the stolen car and fled on foot. The employee then called the police. This juvenile (Juvenile #1) was later identified and charged with Receiving Stolen Property, Criminal Conspiracy, and Driving Without a License. He was committed to the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center (YIC). Further investigation determined that a 16-year-old male (Juvenile #2) and a 17-year-old male (Juvenile #3) stole the Honda Civic. These juveniles were identified and charged with this auto theft.
On October 5, 2013, a 2000 Chevy Astro van was stolen from the 400 blk. of Dohner Dr. in E. Lampeter Twp. This vehicle was discovered abandoned in the area of the Greenwood Ave cemetery in Lancaster City on October 6, 2013. Interviews and further investigation revealed that the above juveniles #2 and #3 had stolen the Chevy Astro. They were also charged with this auto theft.
On October 21-22, 2013, a residence in the 100 blk. S. Pearl St. was burglarized overnight while the residents were sleeping. During this burglary, keys to a 2012 Chevy Cruze were stolen, and the Cruze, which had been parked nearby, was stolen. On October 25, at approx. 9:53 pm, LCPD officers spotted the stolen Chevy Cruze in the 700 blk. of E. King St. Upon seeing the police, the driver immediately abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. With the assistance of video footage from Lancaster Community Safety Coalition video, the driver of this vehicle was later identified as Darien Springer Jr., 18-year-old male, 600 blk. Clermont Ave. Lancaster.
On October 24-25th 2013, a residence in the 1200 blk. Union St. was burglarized overnight while the residents were sleeping and a 1999 Jeep Cherokee was stolen in the same manner as above. On October 31st, Officer Daniel Davis spotted the stolen Jeep Cherokee in the area of W. Strawberry St. and S. Water St. Off. Davis stopped the Jeep and Springer was taken into custody. Police confirmed that he was in fact the individual seen in the LCSC video from King St. on October 25th. Springer was charged with Receiving Stolen Property in connection with the Jeep Cherokee and the Chevy Cruze. He was also charged with Driving without a License. Springer was committed to Lancaster Count Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail. A passenger in this vehicle, a 17-year-old male (Juvenile #4) was also charged with Receiving Stolen Property.
On November 18-19th, 2013, a residence in the 100 blk. Reo Ave. was burglarized overnight while the residents were sleeping. Keys to a 2004 Saturn Ion were taken and this vehicle was stolen. Credit cards were also stolen. These credit cards were later used at the Wal Mart in E. Lampeter Twp., McDonald’s at 1755 Columbia Ave., and Giant Food Store in Lancaster Twp. On Nov. 23, the stolen Saturn was located in the 1st blk. S. Mary St. Detectives from the Auto Theft Unit set up surveillance on this vehicle and at approx. 2:00 a.m. two females and one male entered the vehicle and drove away in it, with the male driving. Officers followed the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The vehicle fled and a brief pursuit ensued. The driver fled on foot and the two females were taken into custody. They were identified as Autumn Gantz, 19-year-old female, 2800 blk. Beech Ln, Lancaster, and a 15-year-old female (Juvenile #5). Gantz was charged with Receiving Stolen Property. Juvenile #5 was charged with Receiving Stolen Property, Criminal Conspiracy, and Unsworn Falsification. The driver of the stolen Saturn was later identified as Edrick Ayala, 18-year-old male, 200 blk. N. Mulberry St. He was charged with Receiving Stolen Property, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer, Recklessly Endangering another Person, Driving without Lights to Avoid Identification or Arrest, One Way Roadways, Stop Signs and Yield Signs, Driving While Operating Privilege is Suspended or Revoked. A warrant was issued and he was arrested on Dec. 19, 2013. Video surveillance from the stores where the stolen credit cards were used led to the identification of two females, Veronica Maria Montes, 20-year-old female, 500 blk. Juniata St. and a 16–year-old female (Juvenile #6). Veronica Montes was charged with Access Device Fraud, Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud and Corruption of Minors. It was discovered that Autumn Gantz was also involved in using the stolen credit cards and she was charged with Access Device Fraud. A warrant was issued for her arrest. Juvenile #6 was found to have participated in the original burglary on Reo Ave. She was charged with Burglary, Access Device Fraud and two counts of Criminal Conspiracy.
On November 25-26, 2013 a residence in the 400 blk. of New Dorwart St. was burglarized while the residents were sleeping. Keys to a 1996 Honda Accord were stolen, as was the vehicle. Later that day, Off. Todd Grager spotted the stolen Accord on Manor St. near Laurel St. Off. Grager attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled from him. A passenger in the Accord jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The pursuit continued and the vehicle struck a utility pole at Manor and Lafayette. The driver attempted to flee on foot but he was apprehended by Off. Grager after a foot chase. He was identified as Johnny Perez, 18-year-old male, 100 blk. Pearl St. It was determined that Perez participated in the burglary in the 400 blk. New Dorwart St. He was charged with Burglary, Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police, and Driving w/o a License. Johnny Perez was also charged with a burglary that occurred on November 21st in the 100 blk. of Pearl St. where electronic equipment was stolen. Perez was committed to LCP in lieu of $75,000 bail. The passenger who jumped from the stolen Honda was quickly apprehended by Off. Andrew Nauman. He is a 17-year-old male (Juvenile #7). Arresting officers discovered Juvenile #7 to be in possession of eight bags of marijuana and $145 cash. He was charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana. He was detained at YIC.
Investigators continued to follow up on these cases and identified more individuals. A fingerprint lifted at the Reo Ave. burglary led to the identification of Jonathan Perez, 20-year-old male, 1st blk. S. Prince St. It was determined Jonathan Perez also participated in the burglaries and auto thefts in the 100 blk. S. Pearl St., 1200 blk. Union St, and 400 blk. New Dorwart St. He was subsequently charged with numerous counts of Burglary and Theft and arrested on Nov. 30th. Jonathan Perez was committed to LCP in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Another suspect was identified as Jomar Almestica, 18-year-old male, 300 blk. Groff Ave. It was determined that Almestica participated in the burglaries and auto thefts in the 1200 blk. of Union St. and the 100 blk. Reo Ave. He was also involved with the thefts of the Chevy Astro and the Honda Civic. Almestica was charged with Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Conspiracy and arrested on Nov 27th. He was committed to LCP in lieu of $46,000 bail.
It was determined that Jovan Martin, 21-year-old male, 500 blk. Poplar St., sold a stolen ipod from the Union St burglary to a local pawn shop on Nov. 20, 2013. Martin was charged with Receiving Stolen Property.