Police Seek Burglary Suspects

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OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police this week are looking for two suspects who allegedly broke into a downtown residence last weekend and stole computers and other electronics along with several credit cards, later used at different businesses on the Boardwalk.

Last Sunday, police responded to a residence on Talbot Street for a reported residential burglary. The victims reported several items stolen including a Sony “Vio,” and Acer lap-top computer, at least seven credit cards and various other personal items. Later the same day, detectives learned the stolen credit cards had been used at two different businesses on the Boardwalk in the area of 6th Street.

During the investigation, detectives were able to recover several images of the suspects attempting to use the stolen credit cards from surveillance equipment in the stores on the Boardwalk near 6th Street.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. One is described as a white male, thin build, roughly 5’9” to 5’11” with sandy blonde or brown hair. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a black or dark blue Polo-style shirt with yellow stripes, light blue jeans, black sneakers and was carrying a large, black backpack. The other suspect is described as a very tall black male with a muscular build and medium-to-long dreadlocks with tattoos on his left arm, possibly a cross. He was wearing a form-fitting sleeveless shirt, black shorts and gray shoes at the time he was captured on surveillance tapes.

Anyone with information regarding the identities of the suspects is urged to call Officer Joseph Zurla at 410-520-5384, or email jzurla@ococean.com. The information can be provided confidentially.

Explosive Devices Detonated

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police arrested an 18-year-old and a juvenile, both from Pennsylvania, last week after discovering they had been detonating homemade bombs at a residence on Rusty Anchor Rd.

Around 8:20 last Thursday, officers responded to the area of Rusty Anchor Rd. in reference to a report of people throwing explosives in milk cartons. While at the scene, the officers observed the grass and asphalt in front of a unit on the street had been charred and the remains of aluminum foil was spread out over a wide area. Based on the evidence, police determined an improvised explosive device had been detonated in the immediate area.

While on the scene, OCPD officer located two suspects, Jesse Paul Armstrong, 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile, both of Woodland, Pa., who were staying in the unit where the evidence of a detonated explosive device was found. The officers entered the unit and found items and materials that had been used to construct several self-igniting improvised explosive devices.

Members of the Ocean City Bomb Squad responded to the scene and rendered all of the materials and partially constructed devices safe. The items were seized as evidence and safely removed from the property. Both suspects were charges with manufacturing and/or possession of a destructive device and disorderly conduct.

Armstrong was taken before a District Court Commissioner and later released after posting a $2,500 bond. The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents.

The OCPD is using the incident to remind citizens that manufacturing any type of explosive device is illegal and will result in arrest. The OCPD also reminds citizens this type of activity is extremely dangerous and can lead to injuries and death.

The Ocean City Bomb Squad is advising citizens not to handle and suspicious items whether they appear homemade or commercially made. The items are unstable and if mishandled could accidentally detonate resulting in serious injury or death. The OCPD and the OC Bomb Squad remind citizens not to handle suspicious devices, but rather back away and contact the police at 410-723-6600 or call 911.

Stolen Car Recovered

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police last week were able to recover a car reported stolen in Anne Arundel County a day earlier after stopping two suspects for trying door handles on vehicles, one of whom was urinating in the street.

On July 7, plainclothes officers working in the area of 12th Street and Baltimore Ave. observed two suspicious men trying to open door handles on vehicles. As the officers approached the suspects, one of them began to urinate on the public street behind a parked car. The officers stopped the suspects, later identified as John Albert Saffran, 18, and Richard William Delauder, 25, both of Baltimore.

While writing Saffran a civil citation for public urination, the officers began to search the area behind the vehicle where the suspect was standing and recovered several items on the ground near the driver’s and passenger’s side doors. The items included several CD holders and Ipod chargers. After checking the area, the officers were able to determine the items had come from a vehicle where the two suspects had been previously observed.

As officers were placing the two suspects under arrest for suspected thefts from vehicles, Saffran told police he had “found” a set of car keys on the ground. The officers were able to use the “found” keys to locate the vehicle they belonged to nearby. The officers were then able to discover the vehicle to which the keys belonged had been reported stolen a day earlier in Anne Arundel County on July 6.

Officers continued their investigation and ended up charging both Saffran and Delauder with motor vehicle theft, multiple counts of theft and multiple counts of rogue and vagabond. Each suspect was taken before a District Court Commissioner. Saffran was released after posting a $25,000 bond. Delauder was held on a $25,000 bond and transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

Probation For Phony

Kidnapping Story

SNOW HILL – A Wilmington, Del. woman arrested in March after investigators determined her wild story about being abducted and forced to drive to Ocean City at gun point turned out to be a hoax was found guilty this week of making a false statement to police and was placed on probation for one year and also fined $300.

Around 6 a.m. on March 15, Monet Jade Wallace, 21, of Wilmington, called Worcester County 911 service and made an allegation she had just escaped from a Dominican Republic man with a Spanish accent who had kidnapped her in Wilmington and forced her at gunpoint to drive him to the Ocean City area. Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the reported location, found Wallace and took her into safety.

Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives were then called to begin to investigate the allegations. During the interview, Wallace told detectives she was at a party in Wilmington during the early hours of Saturday morning. She further told detectives when she was leaving the party, she was abducted by an individual believed to be from the Dominican Republic and with a Spanish accent. According to her story, the suspect had a handgun and demanded she drive him to Ocean City.

Wallace told detectives she complied with the suspect’s demands and drove to the Ocean City area. She told police the suspect held her captive until early Sunday morning when she escaped in the Bishopville area, which is when she called 911. During the course of the investigation, many inconsistencies were discovered in Wallace’s story and detectives began to doubt the validity of her story.

Several days later, she recanted her original story and told WCBI detectives she had made the whole thing up. A criminal summons was obtained and Wallace was charged with providing a false statement to a police officer.

Teen Swiped Doritos

BERLIN – A Pennsylvania teen was arrested on theft charges last weekend after a grocery store clerk caught him with a bag of Doritos stuffed in his pants.

A little after 6 p.m. last Saturday, Berlin Police officers responded to the Save-A-Lot store in response to a reported theft in progress. A store employee reported she observed an unknown male suspect put a bag of Doritos valued at $3.29 in his pants. When the employee confronted the suspect, later identified as a 16-year-old male from Altoona, Pa., he fled on foot.

The employee called Berlin Police and remained in contact with the officers until they arrived on the scene. Upon arrival, police learned the suspect was running in the nearby woods while taking his clothes off. Berlin Police, with assistance from the Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police, set up a perimeter and quickly apprehended the juvenile suspect.

The suspect was positively identified by the store employee and was transported to the Berlin Police Department for processing. He was later released and his case was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.

Fugitive Nabbed In Traffic Stop

BERLIN – A Berlin man wanted on burglary charges in Delaware was apprehended last weekend after nearly causing an accident on Germantown Rd.

Around 10:13 p.m. last Friday, a Berlin police officer stopped a vehicle on Germantown Rd. for speeding and failure to remain right of center after it nearly ran his patrol car off the road. The officer turned around and stopped the vehicle, driven by Raymont R. Johnson, 20, of Berlin. A background check revealed Johnson did not possess a valid driver’s license. It also revealed Johnson was wanted as a fugitive from Delaware on burglary charges.

Johnson was taken into custody without incident and cited on several traffic violations. He was also ordered held without bond at the Worcester County Detention Center on the fugitive warrant pending an extradition hearing.

Working Girl Convicted

OCEAN CITY – A Temple Hills, Md. woman arrested in early June along with another woman and a man for soliciting undercover OCPD officers pleaded guilty this week in District Court to prostitution and was sentenced to a year in jail, which was then suspended in favor of probation and a fine.

Around 1:30 a.m. on June 6, OCPD detectives responded to the 49th Street area after witness complaints about people soliciting for prostitution. OCPD detectives arrived at the scene and observed a blue Dodge van with several people crowded around it.

Undercover detectives moved closer to the van and were approached by a man later identified as Maurice Lawrence Monroe, 30, of Temple Hills, who was soliciting prostitutes. The detectives engaged in a conversation with Monroe and two of his female associates, later identified as Essence Ethel Marie Scott, 22, of Falls Church, Va., and Janita Ellison, 38, of Temple Hills.

According to police reports, Monroe negotiated with the undercover detectives to exchange money for sex with Scott and Ellison. At that point, the undercover detectives placed Monroe, Scott and Ellison under arrest for charges related to the prostitution scheme. The van and $310 in currency was seized as part of the arrest of the three suspects. In addition, a small amount of pot was discovered inside the van and Monroe was also charged with possession of marijuana.

This week in District Court, Ellison pleaded guilty to prostitution-general and was sentenced to a year in jail. The sentence was then suspended and Ellison was placed on probation for three years and fined $500. Scott is scheduled to appear for trial next Tuesday, July 21, while Monroe has a court date scheduled for September.

Coast Guard Rescues Injured Boater

OCEAN CITY – The Coast Guard last Thursday had to come to the aid of a 21-year-old girl injured when the boat she was riding in ran hard aground in the Assateague Channel.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday, Coast Guard Station Ocean City received a call from a boat operator reporting his 22-foot vessel had run aground in the Assateague Channel and that one of his passengers were injured. The Coast Guard responded to the scene within 16 minutes of the call and found the female passenger had lacerated her knee when the boat ran aground. The Coast Guard transported the injured woman to emergency medical personnel waiting back at the station.

Coast Guard Petty Officer-First Class Nicholas Fertal was pleased with his crew’s quick response time.

“When you have an injured person on board, it’s always urgent,” he said.

According to Fertal, the tide was ebbing out and the boat operator had gone outside of the marked channel. He advised boaters to do a little homework before hitting the water.

“Talk to your local Coast Guard unit about shoaling in your area,” he said. “They can also answer any questions that you have about channel markers and what they mean.”

Erratic Driving Turns

Up Pot, Pirated CDs

WEST OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man and three juveniles were arrested last week after a Maryland State Police trooper stopped for erratic driving in West Ocean City and discovered marijuana and counterfeit DVDs.

Shortly before 5 p.m. last Tuesday, an MSP trooper on patrol on Route 50 near Route 611 observed a gray Pontiac cut across four lanes of travel onto southbound Route 611, nearly striking two vehicles and almost causing a collision. The officer activated his emergency equipment to stop the vehicle, and as he approached the driver, later identified as Cody Lee Ream, 18, of Beech Creek, Pa., he noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Also in the vehicle with Ream were three juveniles also from Pennsylvania.

A probable cause search of the vehicle turned up three plastic baggies of marijuana, two multi-colored glass smoking devices with marijuana residue, one wooden grinding device with residue, and one multi-colored tin can containing trace amounts of marijuana. Trace amounts of marijuana were also found in the door handles on the driver and passenger sides. In addition, the trooper discovered seven pirated DVDs in a binder in the rear of the vehicle.

Ream and the three juveniles were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. One of the juveniles was also charged with possession of counterfeit CDs.

Suspicious Fire In Ocean Pines

OCEAN PINES – The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office this week is investigating what it has called a suspicious fire originating on the front porch of a residence in Ocean Pines early Tuesday morning.

Around 7:18 a.m. on Tuesday, a fire was reported on the front porch of a residence on Tidewater Cove in Ocean Pines. A neighbor discovered the fire. First arriving units from the Ocean Pines Fire Department reported the fire had been extinguished with a garden hose. However, Ocean Pines and Showell Fire Department units remained on the scene for about an hour. The fire has been deemed suspicious and anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666.

Probation, Fine For Disorderly Man

OCEAN CITY – A Monkton man arrested in May for first drinking an open beer on the Boardwalk and later scrapping with police pleaded guilty last week in District Court to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation for three months and fined $300.

Around 6:45 p.m. on May 23, an OCPD officer on routine patrol on the Boardwalk near 1st Street observed a man, later identified as Michael Degen Rueter, 18, drinking a can of National Bohemian beer. When the officer asked Rueter how old he was, the suspect responded 21, but when asked his date of birth, Rueter told the officer he was born on June 12, 1990, which only made him 18 years old.

The officer informed Rueter he was under arrest, but the suspect did not go quietly, according to police reports. He struggled with the arresting officers and had to be brought down to the ground before he could be restrained.

Three Years For Pot Distribution

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested along with two other suspects in March at the conclusion of a month-long investigation into drug distribution by the OCPD narcotics unit was found guilty this week in Circuit Court of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to three years in jail.

On March 9, the OCPD Narcotics/Vice Unit concluded a month-long investigation into CDS distribution in the resort area with the arrest of three local residents including Donnell Taylor, 27; Sara Morells, 19; and Patrice Shelton, 18, all of Ocean City. Taylor and Morells were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana while Shelton was charged with possession of marijuana and hydrocodone.

During the arrests, OCPD officers seized roughly 183 grams of marijuana, four Hydrocodone pills and a 1999 Jeep Cherokee. This week in Circuit Court, Taylor was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to three years in jail. In court actions earlier this year, Shelton was placed on probation for a year and fined $400, while Morells was placed on probation for a year and fined $100. In addition, the Jeep Cherokee belonging to Morells was forfeited in a separate court action.

First Of Boardwalk Rioters Convicted

OCEAN CITY – The first of 16 arrested during a major riot of sorts on the Boardwalk in early June went to court this week and was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was placed on probation and fined.

Donnell Acree, 20, of Statesboro, Ga., appeared in District Court this week to face charges for his role in a major riot on the Boardwalk on June 6. Acree pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation for one year and fined $200. The other 15 suspects arrested during the melee have court dates scheduled throughout the summer and early fall.

Around 10:20 p.m. on June 6, OCPD officers responded to Worcester Street in response to a reported fight that had occurred in the under-21 nightclub H20, which had spilled out into the street. Upon arrival, police observed two females, later identified as Tanee Donyale Dudley, 18; and a 17-year-old juvenile, both of Dover, involved in an loud argument that was beginning to escalate into a fight.

Both were subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.

Due to the large crowd at the underage club and the incident that had already occurred, an OCPD officer remained in the area throughout the evening. When the club closed at midnight, a large crowd dispersed and relocated to the Boardwalk near Worcester Street.

At around 1:30 a.m., police reports indicate a fight broke out in the area of Worcester Street and the Boardwalk. OCPD officers on hand immediately dissolved the situation and made several arrests, but other individuals unrelated to the initial altercation began to fight as well. OCPD officers arrested 10 during the first incident, and when the dust had settled after the second, six more had been arrested bring the total number of arrests to 16 during the riot.

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