You can still see the dried mud on the suspect's van and the marked police car, which chased it down in the West Manheim Township of Pennsylvania after an armed man robbed the Jiffy Mart on South Main Street in Hampstead, just after 5 in the morning Saturday, and the Sheetz convenience store in Manchester a half an hour later.
Carroll County Sheriff's deputies alerted other agencies in the area, and officers in York County spotted it.
"They located a vehicle traveling slowly in the area of a convenience store and pulled behind it to investigate,” said Cpl. Jonathan Light of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, “That vehicle then accelerated, committed numerous traffic violations and the suspect/driver eventually bailed out of the vehicle. They were able to apprehend him, and several items matched the description of the suspect from the Carroll County robberies."
Police have now identified the suspect as 26-year-old Jake Werlang of Thurmont, Maryland who threw down a silver and black handgun during the foot pursuit, and he was carrying a large amount of cash.
The day before the convenience store heists, Maryland State Police released photos of a suspect carrying a similar weapon who is wanted in connection with a separate pair of armed robberies at stores in Westminster and Sykesville.
"Certainly, our investigation unit is working with that of the state police and other area agencies that have had recent robberies and they are certainly looking at all possibilities," said Light.
Court records show Werlang had just bonded out of jail in Talbot County on Valentine's Day where he was being held on conspiracy to commit theft and burglary charges.
Eight years ago, when Werlang was just 18-years-old, troopers arrested him for an armed robbery at a Keymar gas station, which followed an eerily similar pattern.