(NORTH EAST, MD) – Maryland State Police are continuing their search for four suspects who were involved in the theft of a lawn tractor and a subsequent traffic crash as they fled that left one of their fellow suspects dead yesterday in Cecil County.
The deceased suspect is identified as David L. Roland, 35, of Elkton, Md. He was flown from the crash scene by Maryland State Police helicopter to Christiana Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of a 2000 Oldsmobile Integra who was eastbound on Rt. 40, just west of Rt. 272, and collided with the suspects’ stolen vehicle when it pulled in front of him, is identified as Stephen H. Kiszenia, 34, of Chesapeake City, Md. He sustained minor injuries and was treated and released at Union Hospital in Elkton.
The investigation has revealed that shortly after 4:30 p.m. yesterday, an employee at the newly constructed and not yet opened Lowe’s store on Rt. 272 at Rt. 40, saw five individuals in dark, hooded sweatshirts loading a John Deere lawn tractor into the back of a pickup. They were in a fenced area at the back of the store where inventory was being kept. The suspects used pallets as a ramp to load the tractor into the pickup.
The store employee ran and closed the gate to the fenced area before calling 911. The suspects spotted the gate being closed and immediately attempted to flee. The driver rammed the gate several times before being able to push it up and drive under it. As the truck passed under the fence, the mower was dislodged and fell off. The truck, with four suspects in the cab and one, later identified as Roland, in the truck bed, sped down an access road behind the shopping center toward Rt. 40.
Upon reaching eastbound Rt. 40, the driver of the truck failed to yield the right of way and drove directly into the path of Kiszenia’s Oldsmobile. The force of the crash ejected Roland from the truck bed and projected him across the eastbound lanes, the median, and the westbound lanes, to where his body came to rest in the ditch.
When troopers arrived at the crash scene, all four of the remaining suspects had fled. An extensive search of the area was conducted throughout the night, but the suspects were not located.
State Police investigators are reviewing surveillance tapes from area businesses and interviewing witnesses today as they compile information concerning the identity of the remaining suspects. Investigators have determined the pickup truck the suspects were using had been stolen from a North East residence where it had been left by the owner, also from North East, to have mechanical work done.
The truck and the lawn mower were taken into custody by State Police investigators. Crime scene technicians processed them both for evidence.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or has any information concerning the identity of the remaining four suspects is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the North East Barrack at 410-996-7800. Callers may remain confidential.