Police say suspect hit parents' home three times

String of burglaries strikes close to home
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 18:27:35-04
Their Westminster home served as the target for the same burglar three times in a matter of weeks, but Robert and Kay Thomas never had to wonder who was behind the crimes.
They knew it was their son, Aaron.
"He served like ten years since he was 13,” said Robert Thomas, “Just got out... what... in March.  Got out.  We let him come back in the home and then he started stealing from us.  Kick him out cause he was getting into drugs again, and then he started stealing from everybody that's around us."
But 23-year-old Aaron Thomas never left the neighborhood.
Police found him and 25-year-old Melissa Hartless squatting in a vacant townhouse they'd broken into just down the street.
Just across North Cranberry Road from his childhood home, Aaron Thomas is also charged with stealing cash, firearms and heirloom jewelry from his longtime neighbors.
"They have a boy who is borderline autistic and he used to sit out here and he'd play with him,” said Kay Thomas, “They got a set of twin girls who are 16... I think 15 (or) 16.  He used to talk to the girls... play with the girls, yes."
It appears Thomas, and to a lesser degree, Hartless, were lining their pockets and fueling their drug habits stealing from the very people who had once meant the most to Aaron when he was clean.
"Over the course of the six or so burglaries, they got away with approximately $34,000 worth of different items," said Cpl. Jon Light of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
Stealing away any remaining hope that Aaron Thomas would clean up and go straight.
"We care.  We care,” said Aaron’s father. “It's just that we can't help him. He doesn't want the help."
Aaron Thomas now faces a series of 15 separate charges, including burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property, while Melissa Hartless faces a single count of burglary and a false statement charge for lying to police about her identity.