Wilmington and Dover police were aided in their investigation by tips from several sources in the community. Two tips, one obtained as the result of a motor vehicle stop, and another from a recipient of stolen merchandise, came at almost the same time. “Officers jumped on the information and made it happen,” says Wilmington Police Chief Joseph Szarejko. “This was good police work, and officers put in a lot of hours to make it happen.”
As a result of the information from initial sources and information developed through the subsequent investigation, police requested and were granted search warrants for five locations in Wilmington. Some of the locations searched included the homes of those who were in possession of goods allegedly stolen by Vandal. As a result of the search warrants, police recovered stolen property from 15 area burglaries. Police estimate the value of property recovered between $10,000 and $20,000. Recovered items ranged from small electronics to furniture. “There were complete home furnishings, TVs, and even dishes,” Szarejko says. “He was selling some stuff, giving away some, and keeping some to furnish his own place.”
Most of the victims in the thefts were second-home owners, Szarejko notes, and some of the burglaries weren’t discovered until some time after they occurred. “There could be more found as people come up and check their houses, but we hope not.” Szarejko requests that residents call the police when they see any suspicious activity.
Vandal was charged with burglary, larceny, unlawful mischief, possession of stolen property, and the sale of stolen property. He was cited to appear in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division on Tuesday, January 11, to answer the charges. The investigation is ongoing and Szarejko says there may be additional charges for other individuals who may be involved in the burglaries.