Chilmark police capture car thieves
On a holiday weekend when the busy down-Island towns reported few problems, Chilmark Police apprehended the driver of a speeding car they said tried to flee after hitting a parked car when he turned into a private driveway to elude police.
Police arrested two 18-year-old men allegedly responsible for stealing several cars over the past few weeks in Tisbury, including the vehicle the men and a juvenile female passenger were riding in early Saturday morning.
The vehicle driver, Geone Mateus Moura of Tisbury, faces a long list of charges including speeding, failure to stop for police while operating a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of liquor, providing a false name to police while operating a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene after property damage.
Police charged Ednaldo Freire of Tisbury, Mr. Moura's companion that night in the car, with receiving stolen property worth more than $250. Both men are Brazilian nationals.
A third passenger, whom police did not identify, was released into the custody of her father.
According to the Chilmark Police report narrative, officer Brian Cioffi was driving along State Road near Stonewall Beach Road in the direction of Aquinnah when he saw a vehicle approaching at a high rate of speed in a 35 miles per hour zone, only partially in his lane of travel. A radar check clocked the vehicle's speed at 54 mph.
Officer Cioffi stopped and turned on his cruiser's blue police lights but the green sedan passed and sped up. He turned his cruiser and pursued the vehicle, which had the advantage of speed.
Near what is known as the Pickett House, Officer Cioffi saw dust in the air where the driver had turned into a driveway known as Lagemann Lane and struck a parked minivan. The driver fled, but Mr. Cioffi's familiarity with the area enabled him to get ahead of the individual who fled back into the brush.
After advising the communication center of what was going on, Mr. Cioffi exited his cruiser. "As I got to the other side of the yard and by the first driveway," Mr. Cioffi wrote in his report, "that I pulled into I could see a male party lying on the ground in the brush. I began to shout verbal commands for the male party to show me his hands and not to make any sudden movements. The male party would not comply with my request."
Mr. Cioffi radioed the communication center with an update and continued to order the man to raise his hands. "I then drew my service weapon and ordered the male party out of the bushes. I had to repeat myself several times before the male party complied with my request," he wrote in his report. "I had the male party lay flat on the ground as he exited the bushes. I asked the male party what his name was and he stated that it was Jose Silva."
Chilmark officer Matthew Gebo and Aquinnah police detective Ryan Ruley soon joined Mr. Cioffi and assisted in completing the arrest. Returning to the vehicle officer Cioffi found the two passengers hiding in the car.
According to the police report, Mr. Freire initially tried to mislead police, telling them that the car belonged to Mr. Moura's mother. He later agreed to an interview and was more forthcoming. According to the police report, he admitted that he knew the vehicle was stolen and that he and Mr. Moura, who provided a false name, had stolen cars in the past.
On that particular night he said they found a car at an auto repair shop police asked not to identify with the keys left in the ignition then drove to Edgartown and purchased liquor from an Edgartown Package store.
Brought to the Dukes County Jail for booking, Mr. Moura insisted his name was Roberto Dasilva. The shift supervisor was able to confirm that his name was Geone Moura and he had four previous Vineyard arrest/bookings, said the report.
During a police interview Sunday in the jail, Mr. Moura told Officer Cioffi he provided a false name because he did not want to get into any more trouble.
"During the interview," wrote Mr. Cioffi, "Mr. Moura admitted to stealing up to eight vehicles over a couple of months of time in Tisbury.... Mr. Moura stated that he was the only one who was operating the vehicle on Saturday morning.... Mr. Moura was cooperative and admitted to all of the charges resulting from the incident on Saturday morning."
Tisbury police confirmed that several vehicles with the keys left inside have been stolen recently from businesses and repair shops in the area of Evelyn Way off State Road.