Police said the latest theft involved a car that was left unattended to warm up.
Delaware State Police have arrested an Elsmere man on multiple charges of stealing vehicles including one carjacking with children in the vehicle.
On Jan. 7 at about 11:08 p.m., troopers responded to the Wawa at 4000 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle, for a report of a vehicle theft that had just occurred.
A Wawa employee told police he started his 2013 Hyundai Elantra to warm it up, and then went back in the store to finish his shift, leaving the vehicle unlocked and running. When he went outside a few minutes later, the car was gone.
While searching the area, troopers were alerted by a resident about a suspicious person on foot in the area of Memorial Drive and Karlin Drive. Troopers found the man, who was later identified as Charles R. Mason IV, 44, of Elsmere, and took him in to custody without incident.
With information provided by another witness, the Hyundai was also recovered in the Comcast parking lot at 4008 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle.
Troopers were able to link Mason to multiple vehicle thefts including a carjacking, as well as other related crimes. Mason was also linked to vehicle thefts that occurred in the jurisdiction of New Castle County Police and City of Wilmington Police.
Mason was charged with stealing vehicles from the following locations:
Dec. 2, Wawa, 2030 Limestone Road, Wilmington;
Dec. 7, Meineke, 1512 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington;
Dec. 11, Steve’s Centerville Inn, 1204 Centerville Road, Wilmington;
Dec. 15, Comegys Pub, 210 N. Union Street, Wilmington (Wilmington Police jurisdiction);
Dec. 26, Royal Farms, 3701 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington;
Dec. 26, Joel’s Rest Stop, 3 Rock Avenue, Wilmington (New Castle County Police jurisdiction);
Jan. 4, Wawa, 2030 Limestone Road, Wilmington;
Jan. 4, The Car Shop, 2205 Mitch Road, Wilmington;
Jan. 8, Wawa, 4000 N. DuPont Highway, New Castle.
Mason was charged with seven counts of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of first-degree carjacking, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count each of attempted theft of a motor vehicle, theft under $1,500, second-degree criminal trespassing and criminal mischief under $1,000.
Mason was arraigned and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $127,500 secured bond.
Anyone with more information about these incidents is asked to contact Cpl. Kunicki at Troop 6 by calling 302-633-5000. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com
Police urge drivers not to leave running car unattended
As we proceed through the cold winter months, the Delaware State Police remind drivers NOT to leave their cars running with keys in the ignition and unattended. Not only is it illegal, but this practice has contributed to a recent increase in auto thefts, police said.