SNOW HILL – One of two brothers arrested in October after resort police connected them to a series of marina burglaries in the downtown area in September pleaded guilty this week to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to two years in jail, with all but six months suspended, but perhaps more importantly was forced to pay thousands of dollars in restitution to the victims.
Robert James Sickler, Jr., 37, of Ocean City, appeared in Circuit Court last Friday to face burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property charges. Sickler and his brother Frank William Sickler, 35, of Prince William County, Va., were arrested in October after OCPD investigators were able to connect the pair to a series of break-ins at downtown marina businesses in September including the Angler restaurant, M.R. Ducks, Marina Deck and Bahama Mama’s.
Along with his suspended sentence of six months in jail, Robert Sickler was also ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution to the victims including over $1,800 to the Angler, $310 to M.R. Ducks, $347 to the Marina Deck and $170 to Bahama Mama’s. Frank Sickler faces similar charges and is scheduled to appear for trial on May 12.
In early September 2008, OCPD detectives began investigating three commercial burglaries and one attempted burglary at waterfront businesses in the marina area between Talbot and Wicomico streets. According to police reports, the outside bar at the Angler Restaurant and the deck bar at M.R. Ducks, both on the water at the foot of Talbot Street, along with the outside bar at Bahama Mama’s on Wicomico Street, were all burglarized between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Sept. 8.
While investigating the thefts at the Angler and M.R. Ducks, detectives discovered the suspect or suspects had also attempted to break into the Marina Deck restaurant next door but were unsuccessful. According to police reports, the cash registers at all three burglarized businesses had been pried open in a similar manner although it is uncertain how much money was removed.
OCPD detectives were able to recover video surveillance tapes from the Angler showing the two suspects enter the business and go behind the outside bar. According to police reports, the turning point in the investigation occurred when several local news media outlets showed the recovered surveillance video of the two suspects committing the burglaries and police received information from local citizens about the possible suspects, later identified as Robert and Frank Sickler.
Investigators were able to locate Robert Strickler in the resort and he was taken into custody. Frank Sickler was later picked up on a warrant in Virginia and returned to Worcester County.