The man believed to have perpetrated a rash of recent La Plata home and vehicle burglaries was arrested last Friday in Waldorf by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Two days after the last three burglary attempts the Sheriff’s Office and La Plata Town Police had identified the suspect in one incident as Paul Matthew Smith, 20, of Waldorf.
The Sheriff’s Office immediately obtained a warrant for Smith’s arrest and a lookout was circulated among officers. Officers believed that Smith was in the Waldorf area and didn’t want him to go into hiding before they arrested him. A copy of the lookout message reached The Bay Net on Thursday, but the Sheriff’s Office asked that we withhold the photo and name of the accused until his arrest.
On Friday Aug. 3rd, an off-duty deputy saw Smith in the food court of the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf about 6:45 p.m. Aug. 3. The officer notified headquarters and within minutes, an on-duty officer arrived and arrested Smith.
Smith was initially charged with first- and second-degree assault. Police say he brandished a handgun at a victim during an attempted burglary, after the victim saw Smith in his yard and opened the door to question Smith’s purpose on the property. The victim in that case immediately closed the door and called 9-1-1, but Smith fled before officers arrived.
The four-day spree is now thought to have included 12 burglarized homes, two attempted home burglaries and three vehicle burglaries. Smith’s involvement in the 17 other incidents is being investigated. He may not have been acting alone.
The original Bay Net article on the burglaries can be found at this link – Update: Suspect Identified in Burglary Spree
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