LANCASTER COUNTY — Police have charged a 30-year-old Lancaster man with burglary, theft, and criminal mischief after he allegedly broke into the Warwick Autopark and stole a Porsche Cayman coupe early Wednesday morning.
Michael James Lambertson, of the 100 block of Canterbury Turn, is also facing a retail theft charge for allegedly stealing a Red Bull drink from a Sheetz store prior to burglarizing the autopark, Northern Lancaster County Regional Police say.
According to police, officers were dispatched to the autopark, located on the 700 block of Furnace Hills Pike, in response to a motion alarm at about 2:10 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, an officer observed a dark gray sedan with a bicycle rack on the trunk pulling out of the business’ main entrance onto Furnace Hills Pike, police say. The officer made eye contact with the vehicle’s driver, later identified as Lambertson, according to the criminal complaint. The officer did not stop the vehicle as it exited, police say.
The vehicle’s bicycle rack had a bicycle on it at the time, according to police.
An employee at the business met police at the scene and observed that a glass window on a door to the business had been broken by a large white rock, which surveillance footage taken from cameras at the business later confirmed was used to shatter the glass and gain entrance to the building.
A suspect, later identified as Lambertson, was seen on surveillance video entering the autopark’s parking lot in the dark grey sedan. Lambertson is seen exiting the vehicle, wearing a blue t-shirt, black pants, and grey shoes. He is seen looking inside the building from outside, just before the white rock is seen going through the glass window, police say.
Damage to the door was estimated at about $500, according to police.
Lambertson is then observed entering the building, walking through the showroom, and accessing the area of the building where the keys to all the vehicles kept here are stored. He opened a door to the building’s basement and another to the garage area before exiting the building, police say.
About three minutes later, Lambertson is seen on video returning to the building and entering a second time through the broken door, according to police. He then returns to the key storage area, exits the building, and walks across the parking lot to a row of cars, where he enters a white Porsche and drives it to a car wash across the street from the autopark, where he leaves the car and returns to the autopark on foot.
Lambertson then allegedly got back into the gray sedan and left the business, according to police.
The Porsche was found at the car wash with the key inside, police say. Evidence, including a footprint from a sneaker left at the scene, was collected, according to police.
Police then took photos of Lambertson and his vehicle to a nearby Sheetz to see if anyone there recognized him, the complaint states. An employee there told police that two men were observed acting in a suspicious manner prior to the burglary, police say.
At about 6:49 a.m., police say they received a report that a car matching the description of the one Lambertson was seen driving from the business was found abandoned in the yard of a residence on Pheasant Lane. The vehicle, which had a bicycle rack similar to the one seen on Lambertson’s car by police as it left the autopark, appeared to have been disabled after striking a landscape rock and tree trunk after driving through the home’s yard, police say.
The bike rack on the vehicle no longer had a bicycle on it, according to police. The vehicle, an Audi A4, was registered to Lambertson, according to police.
Police went to Lambertson’s address to make contact. As they were en route, dispatch called to advise them that Lambertson had just called to report his Audi A4 as stolen. He claimed he last saw the car when he went biking at 3 a.m., and it was gone when he returned to it at 7:53 a.m., according to police.
Police took Lambertson into custody on the burglary and criminal trespass charges, the complaint states.
A follow-up investigation revealed that prior to the burglary, Lambertson was caught on surveillance video taking a can of Red Bull from the Sheetz store near the autopark without paying for the item, police say.