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Sheriff says Cecil County Emergency Services inadvertently issued shelter in place alert

Cecil County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 9:47 AM, May 21, 2024

CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md. — If you're a Cecil County resident, you most likely received a "shelter in place" alert on Monday.

“Made it sound like it could be my neighborhood,” said Rosalyn Townley of Elkton.

“I’m thinking someone’s out on the loose,” added Letisha Hill, “They’re going to do something to us so I’m like, ‘Do I send my kids or do I not send my kids?’ So I made everybody stay home.”

Although deputies were conducting an investigation, and actively searching for a wanted suspect, the Sheriff's Office says the county-wide notice was issued "inadvertently."

On Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office sent out a press release clarifying what transpired.

A rash of recent auto thefts have reportedly "inundated" the County, leading to a wide ranging investigation involving several law enforcement agencies across Maryland and Delaware.

Since launching the probe, detectives believe they've identified a group of juvenile suspects responsible.

Overnight Monday another car theft was reported in Southern Cecil County. The victim in this case tracked their vehicle using an online app. This allowed investigators to locate the stolen car and box it in a neighborhood.

The suspect, however, eluded police for several hours, prompting a manhunt.

It was during this time the Sheriff's Office says the "shelter in place" alert was "inadvertently" issued by Cecil County Emergency Services.

The suspect was ultimately located and arrested in Chesapeake City, but per the Sheriff, the investigation continues.

Anyone with more information can contact Detective William Muller at 410-996-5500 ext. 3368 or by email at William.muller@cecilsheriffmd.gov. Anonymous tips can be provided at 410-392-2180.