Berlin Man Arrested for Resort Burglary

OCEAN CITY- A Berlin man was arrested this week on a slew
of charges including first-degree burglary after Ocean City Police connected
him with a breaking and entering at an unoccupied home in the resort.

Douglas Lawrence Ransley, 20, of Berlin, was arrested this
week after resort police were able to connect him to a robbery at a vacant
north Ocean City home last weekend. An Ocean City police officer was patrolling
in the area of North Heron Drive last Sunday looking for a reported burglary
suspect when he noticed a home with the garage door open and the window to the
door broken.

The officer noticed liquor bottles strewn across the floor
of the garage and an interior door to the residence standing open. An
investigation revealed the house was vacant, but there was substantial evidence
it had been ransacked. Two 42” plasma televisions, one in the living room and
one in the master bedroom, had been damaged and appeared to have been pulled
from their wall mountings. Several drawers and cabinets throughout the house
were left standing open with their contents strewn about the floor.

The officers were able to contact the owners of the
residence, who said it was a vacation, or secondary, home and they had not been
there in about a week. The owners also told police no one else had permission
to be in the home. The owners told police the two plasma televisions were worth
$4,000 each.

An investigation outside the residence turned up empty
liquor bottles and beer bottles lying in the grass which were consistent with
the bottles found in the garage. The officers also found an audio-video cable
in the street in front of the house. In addition, two surf boards were found
concealed in a grove of trees across the street from the residence. A search of
the garage revealed empty wall-mounted surfboard racks.

The officers had plenty of evidence a robbery had taken
place, but they still did not have a suspect. A further investigation led
police to a parked Ford Crown Victoria parked on the opposite side of the
street from the residence that had been burglarized. Inside the vehicle were
several cases of beer and more liquor bottles consistent with what was found in
the garage. Police were able to ascertain the vehicle belonged to Ransley,
although the suspect was nowhere in sight.

The vehicle was then impounded so crime scene detectives
could further investigate it. A boogie board inscribed with the victim’s son’s
name was found in car, which further connected it to the robbery and the boogie
board was similar to the others found in the victims’ garage. 

Around 11 a.m. the next morning, Ransley came to police
headquarters to inquire about the whereabouts of his car. He told police he
left in the area of the 7-11 on 120th Street and went to a friend’s
house. He had spent the night at a different friend’s house on 84th
Street and walked back in the morning to get his car, only to find it had been
towed. Although he was a suspect in the robbery, Ransley was allowed to leave
at that time.

Ransley’s friend, known only as Leon, said he was with
Ransley and others drinking beer at the tennis courts behind the Food Lion on
120th Street the night before, but that he had left while the others
were still there. Leon also told police he had been in Ransley’s car the night
before and there were no cases of beer, liquor or a boogie board in the
vehicle.

Based
on the evidence against Ransley, OCPD detectives asked for a warrant to be
sworn out for him and he was later taken into custody. He has been charged with
first-, third-, and fourth-degree burglary, attempted theft, malicious
destruction of property and two counts of theft under $500. 

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