Teen charged in car thefts outside Newark Wawa
Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy accused of stealing three cars from outside the Wawa on Ogletown Road.
Around 4 p.m. Feb. 21, an off-duty Newark Police Department officer spotted a stolen Chrysler 200 in the same parking lot from where it was stolen four days earlier.
“He recognized it and called for marked units,” NPD spokesman Lt. Andrew Rubin said.
Officers responded to the Wawa and arrested the Wilmington teen, whose name was withheld. Rubin said NPD only releases the names of juvenile defendants if they are charged with a violent felony.
The teen was charged with three counts of theft of a motor vehicle, one count of second-degree conspiracy and one count of driving without a license. He was also charged with theft for taking undisclosed items from inside one of the vehicles. He was committed to the New Castle County Detention Center in lieu of $3,560 secured bail.
All three of the vehicles that were stolen had been left running and unattended in the Wawa parking lot, Rubin said.
The first theft happened at 7:50 a.m. Feb 9. After the driver left the car running and went in to the store, witnesses reported seeing someone get into the car and drive away. The vehicle was recovered three hours later in Wilmington.
The second theft happened at 5:33 a.m. Feb. 15. That night, around 8 p.m., the car crashed in College Square Shopping Center. Witnesses reported seeing a young man and young woman running away from the vehicle, Rubin said.
Two days later, at 6:08 a.m. Feb. 17, a driver left his Chrysler 200 running outside the Wawa and came out to see it being driven away on Ogletown Road.
The teen was caught with the Chrysler 200 in the Wawa parking lot shorty after police publicized the thefts Feb. 21, but it was unclear if he was attempting to return the vehicle, Rubin said.
A male passenger who was with the teen at the time of his arrest was released, but police are still determining whether anyone else will be charged in the one or more of the thefts.