Delaware man, teens charged in crime spree

Record Observer - - News -

CENTREVILLE — In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice work­ing with Delaware State Po­lice de­tec­tives made ar­rests in the case of two bur­glar­ies which oc­curred at East Coast Stor­age LLC lo­cated at 110 Ch­ester River Heights Road in Milling­ton in De­cem­ber 2016 and Fe­bru­ary of this year.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view with de­tec­tives, Ja­cob Joseph Ko­lar, 20, of Delaware City, DE and a 16-year old ju­ve­nile from Townsend, DE, con­fessed to tak­ing items from the stor­age fa­cil­ity. The ju­ve­nile’s 14-year-old brother was also im­plicit in the thefts, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

On Dec. 3, 2016, the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­gated a bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice re­ports, the sus­pects cut a hole in the fence and en­tered the stor­age fa­cil­ity. The sus­pects then cut the locks off of about 10 stor­age units, each in­di­vid­u­ally leased to dif­fer­ent peo­ple, tak­ing ap­prox­i­mately $1,100 worth of am­mu­ni­tion, a hand­gun, six long guns, and two pel­let ri­fles from a gun cabi­net in one of the stor­age units. The to­tal value of items taken was ap­prox­i­mately $5,000. The case was as­signed to Cpl. Troy Low­ery of the Sher­iff’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit. A to­tal of 11 vic­tims were re­ported in this case.

On Feb. 5, 2017, the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­gated an­other bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age. Again re­ports in­di­cated the sus­pects cut a hole in the fence and en­tered the stor­age fa­cil­ity. This time, the sus­pect(s) cut the locks off of about 23 stor­age units, each in­di­vid­u­ally leased. The sus­pects re­port­edly took about $50,000 worth of an­tique coins and a 16-quart cooler from one of the stor­age units. The to­tal value of items taken was es­ti­mated at $50,050. That case was as­signed to 1st Sgt. Sonny Jones of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit. There were a to­tal of 23 vic­tims in this case.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­search into sim­i­lar crimes re­ported in Delaware led of­fi­cers to a sim­i­lar stor­age fa­cil­ity bur­glary in Dover that had also oc­curred on Feb. 5. In­ves­ti­ga­tors worked with Delaware State Po­lice de­tec­tives, who iden­ti­fied two pos­si­ble sus­pects in the Delaware case, Ko­lar and the 16-year-old male ju­ve­nile.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice met with the ju­ve­nile and con­ducted an in­ter­view. Dur­ing that in­ter­view, the 16-year-old con­fessed to the bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age in Fe­bru­ary and said Ko­lar as­sisted in com­mit­ting the crime. As a re­sult of the con­fes­sion, in­ves­ti­ga­tors were able to re­cover all of the stolen prop­erty, in­clud­ing the $50,000 worth of an­tique coins.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and Delaware State Po­lice then met with Ko­lar. Ko­lar also con­fessed to the bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age on Feb. 5, po­lice said. Dur­ing fur­ther ques­tion­ing, Ko­lar ad­mit­ted to also com­mit­ting the first bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age on Dec. 3, 2016, in which firearms were taken, and said the 16-year-old and his 14-year-old brother as­sisted in that crime.

A joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­ducted be­tween the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Delaware State Po­lice Troop No. 3, Delaware State Po­lice Troop No. 2 and Smyrna Po­lice Depart­ment. In­ves­ti­ga­tors con­ducted searches at the homes of Ko­lar in Delaware City, and the ju­ve­niles’ home in Townsend. Dur­ing those searches, ev­i­dence was re­cov­ered link­ing them to both of the bur­glar­ies at East Coast Stor­age, more than 10 other stor­age fa­cil­i­ties through­out north­ern Delaware, a hunt­ing lodge in Kent County, MD, and some prop­er­ties in Penn­syl­va­nia.

Ac­cord­ing to the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, these crimes are still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and new vic­tims are be­ing iden­ti­fied as the in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue.

Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann said, “The suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of these in­ves­ti­ga­tions would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the team­work of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit of the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the Delaware State Po­lice, and Smyrna, DE, Po­lice De­part­ments.”

On March 3, both ju­ve­niles and Ko­lar were charged for the bur­glar­ies at East Coast Stor­age. The charges for the Dec. 3, 2016 bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age are the same for all three: sec­ond-de­gree bur­glary (felony) 10 counts; con­spir­acy to com­mit sec­ond-de­gree bur­glary (felony) 10 counts; fourth-de­gree bur­glary (mis­de­meanor) 11 counts; theft over $1,000 (felony) two counts; ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty un­der $1,000 value (mis­de­meanor) 11 counts.

In the Feb. 5 bur­glary at East Coast Stor­age, only Ko­lar and the 16-year-old boy were charged. They were both charged with: sec­ond­de­gree bur­glary (felony) 23 counts; con­spir­acy to com­mit sec­ond-de­gree bur­glary (felony) 23 counts; fourth-de­gree bur­glary (mis­de­meanor) 23 counts; theft over $10,000 (felony) one count; and ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty un­der $1,000 value (mis­de­meanor) 23 counts.

The ju­ve­niles were re­leased to a par­ent pend­ing Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice Pro­ceed­ings. Ko­lar is in cus­tody in New Cas­tle, Del., and the QA war­rants were filed as de­tain­ers.

In one of two bur­glar­ies at the East Coast Stor­age Fa­cil­ity in Milling­ton, ap­prox­i­mately $50,000 worth of coins were stolen. The coins were re­cov­ered dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that ul­ti­mately led to the ar­rest of three sub­jects. OF­FICE OF THE SHER­IFF

JA­COB JOSEPH KO­LAR.

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