CHESTERTOWN — Maryland State Police have charged a Chestertown man with burglary and theft from a school where he had once been employed.

Kareem Roderick, 23, was apprehended July 18 after leading police on a high-speed chase that ended on the beach in Betterton, according to court documents.

He also is charged with unlawful taking of a vehicle.

Roderick is being held without bail in the Kent County Detention Center pending a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 17 in the District Court for Kent County. At that time a judge will determine if there is probable cause to believe that Roderick committed the offenses.

Roderick is accused of breaking into Chestertown Christian Academy and removing four televisions, three speakers and a power mixer. Total value of the electronic equipment is estimated to be $2,600, according to court records.

In charging documents, police allege that when Roderick was apprehended he was driving a van that he had taken without permission the day before from Chestertown Baptist Church.

TFC Tanner Nickerson of the Maryland State Police reported that he was working stationary radar on state Route 298 at Turners Creek Road near Kennedyville at about 11:15 p.m. July 18 when he observed a white Ford van traveling above the speed limit.

The van had a Delaware license plate. Police subsequently determined that the license plate had been taken from a vehicle belonging to a church in Middletown, Del., according to court records.

After police radar clocked the driver — subsequently identified as Roderick — traveling 72 mph in the posted 50-mph zone, Nickerson activated the emergency equipment on his patrol vehicle and attempted to stop the van.

A chase ensued from state Route 298 onto Route 566 and then Route 292, through the towns of Still Pond and Betterton. At one point, Roderick was driving as fast as 90 mph, according to court records.

He allegedly was driving 80 mph while traveling through Still Pond, where the posted speed limit is 25 mph.

The van allegedly was traveling as fast as 75 mph when it entered the town of Betterton, where the speed limit is 40 mph and then drops to 25.

Roderick slowed down to 60 mph when he entered the 25-mph zone, according to court records.

At that point Nickerson said he was advised by the MSP-Centreville Barrack to discontinue the pursuit. He deactivated the emergency equipment on his patrol car and slowed down to the speed limit as he followed the van along Main Street toward the beach, according to the statement of probable cause.

In charging documents, Nickerson wrote that the van ran over the over the curb and boardwalk and drove out onto the beach. Nickerson pulled up to the curb, reactivated the emergency equipment on his vehicle and notified the MSP barrack in Centreville that the van was stuck in the sand.

Nickerson reported that while he was waiting for backup units to arrive, he gave the driver multiple commands over the public address speaker and the driver did not comply.

“The driver of the vehicle was attempting to become unstuck and was still attempting to drive in forward and reverse but just dug deeper in the sand,” Nickerson wrote in charging documents.

The trooper also said he observed that the side windows of the van were covered with what appeared to be white paint.

After deputies from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and MSP troopers from the Centreville Barrack arrived, the driver of the vehicle was given more verbal commands to step out of the van and to turn off the engine.

The commands were ignored, according to court records.

Nickerson wrote in the charging document: “After multiple failed attempts at verbal commands, myself and other units approached the rear of the vehicle and gave more verbal commands to exit the vehicle and the driver again did not comply. At that time the driver’s window was busted out and the driver then opened the door and exited the vehicle. The driver was taken into custody without incident.”

In the van, police located three Peavey speakers, one Behringer audio mixer and four televisions, according to court records.

In addition to the criminal charges, Roderick was issued traffic citations for driving while license is suspended; displaying registration plate issued for another vehicle; negligent driving; reckless driving; attempt to elude police by failing to stop; and multiple counts of exceeding the posted maximum speed limit.

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