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Nathan E. Cockrell Jr.

West York Police have charged four Maryland men, allegedly part of a multi-state theft ring, in connection with thefts that happened last year in the borough.

Ondray M. Gwynn, 54; Stanley W. Gwynn, 44; Roy Hamilton, 55; and Nathan E. Cockrell Jr., 54, all of Baltimore, face charges for the April 28 theft at Smokers Outlet II, 1636 W. Market St., and the Dec. 28 theft at Giant, 1200 W. Market St., according to police.

On Thursday, police said the men are part of a theft ring that operated in Pennsylvania,. Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia during the past eight years.

Ondray Gwynn and Hamilton are being held in a Virginia jail, and police secured arrest warrants for Stanley Gwynn and Cockrell, police said.

Police said they believe eight additional people were involved in the ring.

Thefts: The group used distraction techniques as a means of committing the thefts, police said.

During the theft at Smokers Outlet II, two of the suspects served as lookouts and two others distracted the clerk as a fifth entered the store office and took thousands of dollars from the safe, police said.

Police say Ondray Gwynn and Hamilton took part in that theft.

The same method was used during the Giant theft when one person was a lookout as another distracted a clerk. A third person broke into the store office and stole an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

Ondray Gwynn and Stanley Gwynn, who are related, and Cockrell took part in that theft, police said.

Charges: Ondray Gwynn is charged with two counts each of conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy receiving stole property and one count each of conspiracy to commit criminal trespass and possession of instruments of a crime, police said.

Hamilton is charged with conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy receiving stole property, police said.

Stanley Gwynn and Cockrell are each charged with conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass, police said.

At the time of the thefts in West York, both Hamilton and Ondray Gwynn were free on bail in connection with a distraction theft at a jewelry store in West Virginia, police said.

West York Police are working with police agencies in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to investigate thefts the men are believed to have been involved with.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact West York Police at (717) 854-1975, through the anonymous tip line at (717)478-TIPS (8477) or at wybpd.org.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.