|Monday, Mar 10, 2008|
On Saturday, March 1st, and Sunday, March 2nd, rangers from Harpers Ferry NHP, C&O Canal NHP and the Appalachian Trail Project Office conducted an operation targeting car clouters at the Keys Gap parking area, an NPS-owned lot along the Appalachian Trail near Harpers Ferry. On Sunday, rangers saw Mark Craig break into a car, remove a purse, then quickly flee the scene in his vehicle. A lengthy, high-speed, multi-state (West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland) pursuit ensued that was eventually joined by units from many surrounding police agencies. Craig eventually abandoned his car and a foot chase followed. Craig eventually flagged down a car and obtained a ride back towards West Virginia. The act was observed by another motorist, though, and reported to rangers. The vehicle was stopped by assisting police agencies and Craig was arrested. Rangers took custody of Craig, who had numerous outstanding warrants against him from nearby jurisdictions in West Virginia and Virginia. Field training ranger Dan Johnston (C&O Canal) and trainee Dan Kiger (Everglades) are leading the investigation. Numerous stolen items were recovered from the suspect vehicle, including electronics, and an array of charges are being considered in several jurisdictions.