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After thefts, police ask Hanover-area residents to check their vehicles

  • West Manheim Twp. Police are asking residents to search their vehicles after an arrest was made for alleged thefts.
  • Chief Tim Hippensteel said Joshua Williams had been stealing from unlocked cars, and he may have been doing it a week before.
  • He remains in York County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

West Manheim Township Police arrested a man who was allegedly stealing things from unlocked vehicles, and police say he might have stolen more from other vehicles.

Police are asking people in the area of Michelle Way and Baltimore Pike as well as nearby areas to search their vehicles to make sure they weren't entered and that nothing was stolen from them.

The notice comes just a day after township police say Joshua James Williams, 29, was stealing money, DVDs, sunglasses and electronics from cars parked in the driveway and along the streets.

More:Police: West Manheim Twp. man stole $10K worth of electronics

Williams, formerly of the 2600 block of Baltimore Pike, is accused of stealing from the vehicles overnight Monday, Aug. 14, into Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Chief Tim Hippensteel said investigators believe Williams might have been stealing items earlier than that.

"We suspect he may have been prowling around as far as a week back," he said.

The chief said all the vehicles Williams went into were unlocked. He urged residents to keep their cars locked.

“He’s taking that opportunity to get into cars that are unlocked," he said.

Currently, Hippensteel said, there are two victims of the thefts.

Williams is charged with two counts each of theft from a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and one count of loitering. 

Anyone who believes their vehicle might have been entered is asked to report it to Hippensteel at 717-632-7059, ext. 101.

Theft history: This is not the first time Williams has been charged with theft in West Manheim Township.

In September 2016, Williams was charged with stealing more than $10,000 from unlocked cars in the township.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 23, 2016, about 800 Redbox DVDs and games, as well as computers, cash and other electronics — with a combined value of $10,000 — were stolen from unlocked cars on Art Drive, Dunmore Drive, Wanda Drive and Galway Drive, police said.

Around 1 a.m. Sept. 29, a resident reported a suspicious car in the 200 block of Joshua Drive. When an officer arrived, Williams was seen rummaging through a car parked in the 100 block of Joshua Drive, police said. Williams allegedly fled into a wooded area on foot, according to police.

Joshua Williams

Officers from West Manheim Township and Penn Township searched for Williams, but police say he managed to get away. However, the suspicious vehicle was owned by Williams' girlfriend, and his photo ID was found inside the car, according to police. A few hours later, Williams was arrested at his Zachary Drive home, police said.

Stolen DVDs, computers and electronics as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in the car, according to police. Williams allegedly took the DVDs out of their Redbox cases and threw out the cases, police said.

Police say a few hundred cases were found in a dumpster on Frederick Street in Hanover.

Online court records indicate Williams pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking, theft from a motor vehicle and tampering with physical evidence. He was sentenced to four years of intensive probation.

Williams was arraigned on his latest charges Wednesday, Aug. 16. He was remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Aug. 31 at District Judge James Miner's office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.