Two Island youths were arraigned in Edgartown District Court on Monday and charged in connection with a mid-afternoon break-in last Friday at a Chilmark home. Jonathan Wild of Vineyard Haven, 17, and Owen White of West Tisbury, 19, both of them seniors at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, were apprehended by Chilmark police with the help of citizens, the state police and officers from Aquinnah and West Tisbury.
Chilmark police chief Tim Rich said the break-in occurred at the rented home of William (Billy) Solon, located off North Road, going into Menemsha. The chief said Mr. Solon's son, Davis, was returning home at about 2:30 p.m. Friday when he noticed two men running into the woods.
Chief Rich said a citizen gave chase and apprehended Mr. Wild, and Mr. Solon called police. By the time he arrived, Chief Rich said, the young man was being held at the edge of North Road.
The second person, Mr. White, was apprehended by state and West Tisbury police more than an hour later, based on a tip from another citizen who saw his GMC truck speeding from the scene and reported its license plate number. West Tisbury police Sgt. Skip Manter pulled Mr. White over on Old County Road. He was assisted by state police Sgt. Neal Maciel.
"Mr. White was taken into custody and brought to the Chilmark police station for questioning," Chief Rich said. "After both men were interviewed, probable cause was developed to implicate them both."
On Monday they were charged with daytime breaking and entering, a felony; receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
Chief Rich said he was grateful for the help of citizens and the state police in this case. "We received extensive assistance from state police. They helped in the transporting and the ground search. I was alone. I had people on vacation. West Tisbury and Aquinnah police also helped.
"The cornerstone of the story is that the public needs to realize that the police are limited. We are only as good as the involvement of the community we serve," he said.
The chief said: "In my opinion, the suspects' involvement in this house break is isolated and not related to all the other ongoing investigations on the Island."