Joppa Crash Leads To Arrests In Car Thefts, Arson, Burglary Cases

An accident that happened in Harford County on Clayton Road has led the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshal’s Office to solve at least three motor vehicle thefts, two arsons and a burglary that occurred through the summer months.

On Saturday, August 8, 2009 at approximately 3pm, Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an accident scene on Clayton Road near Kate Lane in Joppa, MD for a one-car accident that had just occurred. The 2000 Toyota Camry involved lost control and struck a tree on the northbound shoulder of the road with four people in the car.

One person in the car, Kateland Gore age 13 suffered severe injuries and was transported by Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company to John Hopkins Pediatrics Hospital. She is listed in critical but stable condition. A second juvenile age 14 from Edgewood MD was transported by Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for minor injuries. The remaining victims were a 17-year old male from Abingdon, MD and Joe Novik, age 18 of Middle River, MD.

During the investigation of the accident, Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies were told by the passengers that the vehicle had been driven by a white male, age 18, that they only knew as “Luke”. They reported that he had fled the scene immediately after the accident occurred. It was quickly determined that the 2000 Toyota Camry involved in the accident had been reported stolen on Wednesday August 5, 2009 from the 1300 block of Clover Valley Way in Edgewood, MD.

During investigation by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit into the stolen vehicle, it was discovered that “Luke” the supposed driver did not exist. The car had been driven by the 17-year-old juvenile from Abingdon, MD who was at the crash site the evening of August 8, 2009.

Further investigation revealed that the 17-year-old male from Abingdon, MD had also been involved in other motor vehicle thefts and one burglary along with an accomplice, Craig Steven Haacke, age 18 of Edgewood, MD. Haacke was not at the accident scene the evening of August 8, 2009. The two young men have been linked to a burglary that occurred on July 18, 2009 in the 2000 block of Kenny Court, as well as motor vehicle thefts that occurred on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 from the 200 block of Cross Pointe Court, Abingdon MD and Saturday, July 18, 2009 from the 1800 block of Steven Drive, Edgewood MD.

In both of these motor vehicle thefts, the vehicles were found burned along the railroad tracks at the end of Raspe Lane in Edgewood MD.

Working cooperatively, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit and State Fire Marshal’s Office were able to connect the thefts and vehicle burnings to the motor vehicle theft of the Toyota Camry that occurred on August 5, 2009. The same Camry was involved in the accident that occurred on Saturday evening August 8, 2009.

The following charges have been filed on the 17-year-old male: three counts of motor vehicle theft, four counts of felony theft, three counts of rogue and vagabond, two counts of arson, one count of burglary in the 1st degree, one count of making a false statement to an officer, and one count of driving without a license. Deemed a risk, the juvenile is being detained at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile offenders until his scheduled hearing, September 8, 2009. At that time, it will be determined whether he will be waived to adult status.

The 14-year-old female juvenile who was in the car at the time of the accident was charged with making a false statement to an officer. She was released into the custody of her parents.

Haacke, not at the accident on August 8, 2009, was charged and arrested on August 11, 2009 for motor vehicle theft, 1st degree burglary, felony theft over $ 500.00 and 4th degree burglary for his connection to the motor vehicle thefts and burglaries that occurred earlier in the summer. He has since been released on $10,000 bond.