A suspected car popper was arrested after he broke free from a homeowner who confronted him outside a Lancaster home and was chased down by police, authorities said Wednesday.
Now, investigators believe he may have been behind a string of about 30 recent car break-ins in Lancaster.
Stephen Langley, 19, of Burwell Avenue was charged with third-degree assault, attempted petit larceny, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, two counts of trespassing and second-degree harassment.
Early Sunday, Officer John Zimmerman was summoned to a report that a 69-year-old homeowner had caught someone breaking into cars at 3:45 a.m.
“A number of unlocked cars were entered and they may have tried to enter garages. He lives dead center of where all the break-ins were occurring,” said police Capt. William Karn Jr.
Zimmerman chased Langley through backyards and over several fences before tackling him near Court Street with assistance from Officer Bryan Asposto, police said.
The homeowner was injured when the suspect became combative and escaped, shirtless and shoeless. The resident sustained multiple injuries, with bruising to his head, cuts on his right elbow and left hand and cuts to his left shoulder, police said.
The break-ins have occurred in the eastern part of the village, north of Como Park. Many of the cars were ransacked but no property taken, and in other instances, just cash was taken from the vehicles, Karn said. Police said they believe another individual may be involved.
Langley is due back Sept. 27 in Village Court.