Attacker Stays Loyal

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BERLIN – One Berlin juvenile was arrested and two other suspects remain at large this week after mugging another man in the area of Flower and Bay streets last Thursday.

Shortly after 5 p.m. last Thursday, Berlin Police were dispatched to the east Berlin area for a reported assault that had just occurred. The investigation revealed a 19-year-old male victim had been approached by three males, knocked to the ground, assaulted and robbed of $28 from his wallet.

The victim provided police with descriptions of his attackers, including a young, black male wearing a black, green and white hooded sweatshirt; a young, black male wearing a gray coat with fur around the hood; and a black male, 20 years old or older with a full beard.

Officers were able to locate the second suspect, identified as a juvenile from Berlin. He was charged with robbery, second-degree assault and theft under $100. However, the arrested juvenile refused to identify either of the other two suspects. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Berlin Police Department at 410-641-1333.

Juvenile Arrested For Pot

BERLIN – A juvenile from Snow Hill was arrested on marijuana possession charges last week after getting pulled over for speeding in Berlin.

Around 1 p.m. last Thursday, Berlin Police officers were conducting routine traffic patrol in the area of Broad Street and Esham Avenue when they clocked a vehicle going 60 mph in a 30 mph zone. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver was identified as a 17-year-old juvenile from Snow Hill. The juvenile was issued a traffic citation for speeding a later consented to a search of his vehicle.

During the search, police discovered a tin foil smoking device containing burnt marijuana residue in the storage pocket of the driver’s side door. The juvenile was then arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia and was released to the custody of his parents.

Another Juvenile With Pot

BERLIN – Another juvenile was arrested in Berlin on marijuana possession charges last Saturday after throwing his stash on the ground and fleeing police.

Shortly before 4 p.m. last Saturday, a Berlin Police officer was on routine patrol in the Flower Street area when one of two men walking down the sidewalk yelled at the officer. The officer stopped his patrol vehicle to speak to the two young men when one of the individuals threw a plastic bag on the ground nearby and fled on foot.

The plastic bag was recovered and found to contain a small amount of marijuana. The juvenile suspect was apprehended a short time later and arrested for possession of marijuana. He was released to his parents pending the disposition of his case, which was turned over to juvenile services.

Fine, Restitution In Theft Case

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman arrested on theft charges in September for breaking into and stealing property from her neighbor’s vacant condo pleaded guilty this week in District Court to theft under $500 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of fines and restitution to the victim.

On Sept. 5, OCPD officers responded to an apartment on 25th Street for a reported burglary. When they arrived, police spoke to the victim, who said he had lived at the unit all summer before leaving for a while in September. When he returned to his apartment with his mother to retrieve the rest of his belongings, he found the unit in disarray with spray paint on the walls and several items missing, including a laptop computer, a stereo, a laser disc player, a 35 mm camera and other items.

The witness said he went out on the back porch of the unit to call police on his cell phone when he noticed a fishing rod on a neighbor’s porch he believed was his. Suspecting the neighbor might be involved with the thefts, police went next door to question the occupant, identified as Maria Carhballo, 19, of Ocean City. Carhballo reportedly invited the officers in, and when they questioned her about the fishing rod, she claimed she did not know who it belonged to.

When asked if there was anything else in her apartment that didn’t belong to her, Carhballo allegedly pointed under a bed and revealed the fishing pole that had been on the porch and a tackle box. Carhballo reportedly told police the vacant unit had been entered by someone else and provided a name and description of the unknown suspect. She was later arrested and charged with second-degree burglary and felony theft over $500.

At Carhballo’s preliminary hearing in October, a discussion arose about whether or not the burglarized unit was considered a storehouse or a dwelling because the charges hinged on how the residence was classified. If it was determined to be a storehouse, meaning it was vacant at the time and merely held the stolen items, the primary charge would be second-degree burglary. If it was proven the unit was occupied at the time, felony theft charges could be applied.

After some discussion, it was determined the unit was indeed still occupied because it had been lived in recently and there was still food and such in the refrigerator. Therefore, Judge Daniel Mumford dismissed the second-degree burglary charge against Carhballo and found probable cause to move forward with the felony theft charge.

Back in court this week, Carhballo pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all of which was suspended. She was also fined $500 and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the victim.

Probation, Fine For Pot Bust

SNOW HILL – An Ocean Pines man arrested in November on marijuana possession charges pleaded guilty last week in District Court to possession of paraphernalia and was placed on probation for a year and fined $200.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, Berlin Police on routine traffic patrol in the Flower Street area observed a vehicle traveling west on Bay Street with Maryland tags on the back, but no front license plate. The officers initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Joseph Robert Brunetto, 19, of Ocean Pines. When the officers came in contact with Brunetto, they detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a glass-smoking device with burnt marijuana residue in the glove compartment. Brunetto was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Last week, he pleaded guilty to the paraphernalia possession charge and was placed on probation for a year and fined $200.

Stet Docket For Pharmacy Theft

SNOW HILL – A Pasadena man who turned himself in to Berlin Police in December after being identified as the suspect of a robbery at the Rite Aid a day earlier had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week in District Court.

Around 2 p.m. on Dec. 13, Berlin Police were dispatched to the Rite Aid on Old Ocean City Blvd. for a reported theft that had just occurred. The investigation revealed a male suspect entered the store and concealed a large number of high value items on his person. He then fled the store in a blue Mitsubishi SUV. At the time, store employees estimated the value of the stolen goods at around $600.

Employees were also able to provide police with a vehicle tag number for the getaway car and police were able to contact the owner of the vehicle, who said a family member was using it. Police were then able to contact the family member, later identified as Michael Paul Beverly, 24, of Pasadena, who admitted stealing the goods from Rite Aid in Berlin.

Beverly told police he had returned to his home in Pasadena, but agreed to return to Berlin the next day, Dec. 14, to return the stolen goods. An application for charges and an arrest warrant were prepared and Beverly returned to the Berlin police station the next day as planned.

He was placed under arrest and charged with theft over $500. Last week in District Court, Beverly had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Wallet Thief Sent

Back To Delaware

OCEAN CITY – A Georgetown, Del. man arrested on theft charges in Ocean City in December after allegedly swiping a wallet from a hotel cleaning cart had the charges against him here put in the stet docket this week and was extradited to Delaware to face charges there.

On Dec. 27, OCPD officers were dispatched to the Fenwick Inn for a reported theft. The officer interviewed a witness who said she observed a male suspect take an employee’s wallet from a cleaning cart and go into his room. The witness said the suspect, later identified as Christopher Altoe, 27, of Georgetown, Del., take the wallet from the car, put it in his waistband and go into room 708.

The officers then went to room 708 and interviewed Altoe, who, at first, denied any involvement with the theft. When the officers told Altoe they merely wanted to get the wallet back to its rightful owner, he hesitated briefly before telling them it was in the bathroom. Altoe told police he had stashed the wallet in the ceiling, and they discovered it when they removed a ceiling panel in the bathroom.

The witness was then brought over and positively identified Altoe as the man who had taken the wallet from the cleaning cart. He was arrested and charged with theft under $500. It was later learned Altoe was wanted on a fugitive warrant from Delaware for an unrelated case. This week in District Court in Ocean City, the theft charges against Altoe from December were placed on the stet, or inactive, docket, and he was extradited to Delaware to face charges there.

Sheriff Warns Of Charity Scam

BERLIN – The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is warning the public of an ongoing scam in which suspects are falsely identifying themselves as representatives of the Sheriff’s Department in order to collect donations.

Recently, it has been brought to the attention of the sheriff’s office that there have been people identifying themselves as representatives of the department calling businesses and other individuals asking for donations for yearbooks, publications, etc. Most are not representatives of the sheriff’s office, rather they are running scams to obtain money under false pretenses.

According to Chief Deputy Doug Dods, in order to avoid becoming a victim of the scams, individuals should ask for literature from the organization and a phone number they can call back after reviewing the printed material. Potential victims should then call the sheriff’s office or the agency the scammers claim to represent in order to confirm their association.

Dods reiterated there are legitimate fundraising efforts going on all year round, but unfortunately, there are those individuals who will take advantage of the good will of the people of Worcester County for their own personal gain.

Illegal Ducks

OCEAN CITY – Three local men last week were charged with exceeding the daily bag limit of scaup ducks in the Isle of Wight Wildlife Management Area.

Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) last Friday charged three men: Kenneth C. Jones, 37, of Salisbury, John O. Wade, 38, of Parsonsburg, and Jonathan D. Hamilton, 41, of Delmar, with exceeding the daily bag limit of scaup ducks after they were found with 10 in their possession. The daily bag limit for scaup ducks is two per person per day from Jan. 2 through Jan. 24. NRP officers seized six ducks as evidence during the incident. The three are scheduled to appear in Worcester County District Court on March 6.

Knights Honor OCPD Officer

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Knights of Columbus last week held their annual awards ceremony honoring many in the community including OCPD Pfc. Aaron Morgan as Officer of the Year.

Morgan’s award was one on many handed out by the local Knights of Columbus chapter during their annual ceremony last Wednesday. Thomas Parker was named Firefighter of the Year; Sidney Wooten was named EMT of the Year; and Kelly McLaughlin of Most Blessed Sacrament was named Teacher of the Year.

For such a young officer, Morgan has had an impressive career in law enforcement and his history in police work shows his dedication to protecting and servicing his community. Before joining the OCPD, Morgan worked as a patrolman for the Kennywood Amusement Park in Pennsylvania and was an intern with the Alleghany County Police Department in Pa.

After spending one year as a seasonal officer in Ocean City, Morgan joined the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department where he was assigned to a specialized patrol unit that included auto theft and high-risk patrol. He returned to the OCPD as a full time officer in 2006 and has since been promoted to Pfc., becoming a member of the traffic safety unit and a field training officer. He is currently assigned to the patrol division.

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