Alert Citizen Helps Nab Shoplifters

OCEAN CITY- Just days after a reported shoplifting spree
at the CVS pharmacy on 120th Street in Ocean City, an alert citizen
who saw the suspects pictures on television recognized them at the CVS in West
Ocean City and alerted resort police, which touched off an investigation that
led to their arrest.

Three suspects in the initial shoplifting spree at the
Ocean City CVS on April 28 were arrested this week after a tip from an alert
citizen who saw the trio apparently up to their old tricks at a different CVS
in West Ocean City. The OCPD released information to the public through the
media on April 28 about the initial shoplifting case including pictures of the
suspects grabbed from the store’s surveillance cameras.

Later that day, a citizen was in her car in the parking
lot at the West Ocean City CVS when she saw what she described as suspicious
activity with people going in and out of the store. The witness wrote down the
vehicle’s tag number and held on to it. A few days later, the witness saw a
report about the Ocean City case on television news and reported the tag number
and the suspicious activity at the West Ocean City CVS she had seen days
earlier.

OCPD Det. James Rodriguez took the tag number and was able
to get the names of the registered owners. He then accessed the photographs of
the owners and discovered they matched two of the suspects in the Ocean City
shoplifting case. Two of the suspects, Larry Fitch, 30, and Gawanda Hungerford,
both live in Columbia, Md.

After further investigation, the OCPD detective discovered
Hungerford had posted bail for another man in Cambridge several months earlier.
When the detective saw the photograph of that man, Darrius Marcus, 58, of
Silver Spring, Md. he recognized him as the third suspect in the CVS
shoplifting spree. An arrest warrant was then obtained for Fitch.

OCPD detectives then contacted the U.S. Marshal’s Capitol
Area Regional Fugitive Task Force regarding Fitch. When they arrested Fitch at
his home on Wednesday, Marcus was with him. There was also a third man present,
Kevin Debose, 44, of Washington, D.C., whom detectives recognized as the fourth
suspect in the shoplifting case. Fitch, Marcus and Debose were all taken into
custody on other warrants obtained by the task force. Marcus was a fugitive
from Virginia and all three were wanted for similar shoplifting incidents around
the state. OCPD detectives obtained warrants for both Debose and Marcus.

Fitch was charged with two counts of felony theft and
felony theft scheme for the April 28 case at CVS in Ocean City as well as
another case last year in which he was a suspect. Debose and Marcus were each

charged with one count of felony theft. Hungerford has not yet been charged. Each of the suspects are being held,

with Fitch and Debose in Montgomery County and Marcus in Prince George’s
County.

Not only was the witness responsible for breaking open the
case at the CVS, but it appears she thwarted an attempted shoplifting at the
West Ocean City store, according to police. When the suspects saw her writing
down their tag number, they quickly left the area.

“This
was an amazing case,” said OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino. “This was a very
diligent investigation by our officers, and it was initiated by an alert
citizen that chose to let us know of her suspicions. Both her and the new media
were an integral part of this capture.” 

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