Police arrest package theft suspect with help from watchful neighbors

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Jose E. Colon-Rodriguez

LANCASTER, Pa. –  At about 1:28 p.m Thursday afternoon, city police responded to the area of the 300 block East Clay Street for a report of a theft that had just occurred. Witnesses and neighbors saw an unknown male take a package from the porch of a residence on the block.

One neighbor confronted the male and followed him while calling for police. The witness gave police a great description and last known direction of travel. The suspect was seen hiding the loot in a trash bag contained within a 2 wheeled shopping cart. A 2nd witness contacted police to say that the suspect had been seen walking south on the 700 block N. Shippen Street.

Responding officers spotted the suspect pushing the cart through the Lancaster Cemetery between New Holland Avenue and Park Avenue. The suspect abandoned the cart and jumped a fence to the rear of residences along the 500 block North Plum Street. Officers found him attempting to hide in a breezeway between two residences along North Plum Street. The suspect was identified as Jose E. Colon-Rodriguez.

Rodriguez-Colon was also in possession of a quantity of suspected Heroin and drug paraphernalia. The cart that he had abandoned in the cemetery was found to contain loot taken from East Clay Street. The cart also contained several other items that are consistent with other package thefts but did not have the boxes or any other identifiers.

If you suspect that you are the victim of package theft within the past couple days and you can describe your missing/stolen item, please contact the Lancaster City Police Desk Sergeant at (717) 735-3301 reference event number 1702-001985.

Rodriguez faces charges of Theft by Unlawful Taking, Possession Heroin and Possession Drug Paraphernalia.