Springetts Police: Shoplifting suspect stole our vehicle
A shoplifting suspect is in custody after allegedly stealing an unoccupied Springettsbury Township police car on Monday, according to township police.
Marlo Harvard Jr., 21, Baltimore, is charged with theft by unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking of a firearm, retail theft, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding police, as well as summary traffic offenses, according to a press release.
Lt. Tony Beam said Harvard took the vehicle at the East Market Street Walmart just after 1 p.m.
"The officer stopped in a traffic lane to pursue the man" on foot, he said. "The man got in the vehicle then."
Police say Harvard entered the vehicle that had three firearms valued at $1,300 in it. He fled west on Industrial Highway and then south on Memory Lane, with the in-car camera displaying a speed of 71 mph in a 40 mph zone.
He drove the vehicle to the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot on Memory Lane and was later found hiding in a dumpster at the nearby Mexitaly restaurant, 2440 E. Market St., the lieutenant said. The vehicle was recovered where Harvard left it.
According to Leonel Lionardo, an assistant manager at Walmart, 2801 E. Market St., Harvard left the store with stolen items in-hand.
"He was waiting at the bus stop with our merchandise," he said. "We had a runner and had to call the police. When the police went to question him, he ran."
Walmart employees had no idea the shoplifting suspect had stolen the police vehicle.
"I don't know who's crazy enough to steal a cop car," Lionardo said.
Mexitaly employees were just as surprised to find a man running into their restaurant.
"Some guy ran into the restaurant and went straight into the bathroom," said Pedro Febres, the manager at Mexitaly. "He was obviously hiding from the police."
Two employees on a smoke break saw the man run into the restaurant and had another person call the police.
"At least 10 police came into the restaurant," Febres said. "They had their guns drawn and were looking for someone."
Febres said there were customers in the restaurant at the time. The man sneaked out the back door of the restaurant and hid in a dumpster, pulling the lid closed.
"(The police) were all, 'Hands in the air,' and he said, 'I didn't do anything'," Febres said. "He didn't resist or anything. The police handled everything pretty well."
Nearby East York Elementary School was locked down during the chase because police didn't know where the suspect was headed, Beam said, adding the lockdown was later lifted.