A Middletown man was charged with burglary Jan. 11 after police said he stole a riding lawn tractor from a barn on Choptank Road.
Jedadiah Elliot, 32, who resides in the unit block of Meadow Drive in the community of Chesapeake Meadow, is being held at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institute after failing to post a $6,500 secured bail.
Police said that on Jan. 10, Elliot responded to the 75-year-old victim's residence looking for his alleged lost dog.
Elliot gave the victim his lawn service business card that had the name "Jed" and a phone number on the card so that if the dog was found, he could be contacted, police said.
The next morning at around 11:19 a.m., New Castle County Police were called to the victim's residence in the 1100 block of Choptank Road in Middletown for a reported burglary that had possibly occurred overnight.
The victim told police that an unknown subject had entered his barn and removed his 54" lawn tractor, which he later found damaged and stuck in mud in a wooded area near his home.
As an officer headed back to the crime scene, they saw Elliot walking in the field in the area of the abandoned mower carrying two beer cans, police said.
The officer then learned that Elliot was the man who was searching for a lost dog the day before.
Elliot was found to be in possession of wire cutters and a set of key to the lawn tractor, police said.
A metal fence was also heavily damaged, police said, which was in the path that the mower was driven.
Police interviewed Elliot and the officer confirmed his involvement with the crime, also learning that the wire cutters had also been taken from the victim's barn.
Elliot was charged with burglary, attempted theft, and criminal mischief.
He was arraigned and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institute.