Howard County police have recovered approximately 15,000 stolen construction tools in what is believed to be one of the largest and most expansive theft cases in the region in recent years. 

Howard County Police Chief Gregory Der was joined by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson in announcing the case at a news conference on May 23. The investigation is ongoing; no charges have been filed yet. NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO

Police estimate that the total value of the stolen tools is between $3-$5 million. During the investigation, which began in late January when a tracking device in a stolen tool led officers to a storage unit in Elkridge, detectives have conducted search warrants at 12 locations -- 11 of which are in Howard County -- from where they recovered the tools.

Detectives believe the tools were stolen from retail stores, businesses, vehicles, residential properties, and construction sites primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The stolen tools were mostly kept in storage units in Howard County and detectives believe they were sold at a variety of locations and through different means.

More than 80 victims have been identified and detectives believe there are hundreds if not thousands more. Victims who have had tools stolen and believe they may have been recovered in this case can submit a FORM ONLINE.

“This case sends a clear message: we will not tolerate criminal enterprises operating here in Howard County,” Police Chief Der said. “I want to thank the detectives from our Special Investigations Division and all the officers who have helped on this enormous and unprecedented case. They have put in thousands of hours and have many more ahead of them. They will see it through to the end.”

"Howard County is a community where all residents should be safe and feel safe, and we just took another giant leap towards achieving that goal," County Executive Ball said. "This case shows the tenacity of our police department in their investigations and in their pursuit of justice." 

Anyone with information on this case should contact police at 410-313-STOP or Potential victims should fill out the form linked above with as much information as possible.

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