Lawn mower thief dies making get away in Cecil County

Thieves target new Lowe's before opening

NORTH EAST, Md. - Less than 72 hours before the new Lowe's Home Improvement Center is scheduled to open its doors to customers, Maryland State Police say five thieves decided to help themselves.

They drove into a storage lot in the back of the building and tried to lead a $2,000 John Deere riding mower into the back of a Chevy Silverado, but they didn't count on an alert employee turning the tables on them.

"The employee went to the fence, closed the gate so they would not be able to get out and then called 911," said Greg Shipley of the Maryland State Police, "The suspects got back in the pickup truck, which we learned later was stolen and rammed the gate several times."

After several attempts, the suspects were able to drive beneath the gate, but lost the lawn mower off of the back end of the truck in the process.

In their rush to get away, the driver pulled off of an access road directly into the path of an eastbound car on Route 40 with deadly consequences.

"One of the suspects was in the back of that pickup truck.  He was ejected from the truck and came to rest in the ditch along the westbound lane," said Shipley, "He was flown by State Police helicopter to Christiana Hospital where he was later pronounced dead."

The four suspects, which may have included a female, fled on foot leaving their accomplice behind.

State Police are reviewing the surveillance video from businesses in the area to try to identify them.

If you have any information, which could help State Police or know anything of these suspects, you're asked to call the North East Barrack at 410-996-7800.  

State Police have now identified the man who died in the crash as 35-year old David Roland of Elkton.

The driver of the other car suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from Union Hospital.

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