Resort Police Seek Jewelry Store Burglar

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OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police this week are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect who broke into a jewelry store in the Princess Royale hotel early Monday morning.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, an unidentified suspect entered the Avanti Jewelers in the Princess Royale on 91st Street. OCPD officers were able to obtain surveillance video that shows the suspect enter the store, break into jewelry cases and steal several items.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male around six feet tall and about 200 to 220 pounds with a mustache and short hair. According to the description provided by police, the suspect appears to be in his mid-40s. At the time of the burglary, the suspect was wearing a dark-colored T-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers. Anyone with information about the suspect or the incident is urged to call the OCPD criminal investigation division at 410-723-6604.

Shoplifter Nabbed

WEST OCEAN CITY – A Pittsville woman was arrested on theft charges this week after employees at a West Ocean City convenience store observed her attempting to take items without paying for them.

A little before 11 p.m. last Friday, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to the Wawa convenience store on Route 50 in West Ocean City for a reported shoplifting incident. Upon arrival, the trooper talked to the store manager, who advised a suspect, later identified as Maci Leigh Palmer, 18, of Pittsville, entered the store and began shoplifting several items.

When Palmer attempted to exit the store without paying for the items in her possession, she was stopped by store employees and taken into custody until the trooper arrived. Palmer was arrested and charged with theft under $100. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and later released on her own recognizance.

Dealer Convicted

BERLIN – A Berlin man arrested on drug distribution and numerous traffic charges in January after leading Maryland State Police on an extensive chase that ended in a cornfield pleaded guilty last week to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of crack cocaine and was sentenced to one year in jail, half of which was suspended.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Jan. 20, an MSP trooper stopped a vehicle on Route 50 at Dale Rd. in Whaleyville for a traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, later identified as Jerrell Lamont Harmon, 24, of Berlin, the officer noticed a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette in the center console of the vehicle. A back-up trooper arrived on the scene and attempt to take Harmon into custody was made, but Harmon took off in his vehicle and turned on Dale Rd. with the MSP troopers in pursuit.

As Harmon continued in his vehicle down Dale Rd., he failed to stop for a school bus with red flashing lights that was discharging school children. Harmon continued down Dale Rd. until it came to an end, at which point he continued on in his vehicle into a cornfield. Harmon eventually abandoned his vehicle in the field and continued on foot with troopers chasing him.

At one point, the officers saw him allegedly throw a gallon-size clear plastic bag full of marijuana into the woods nearby. Harmon was eventually taken into custody without further incident. A search turned up over 440 grams of marijuana and 2.1 grams of crack cocaine. Harmon was charged with possession of crack cocaine and marijuana and possession with intent to distribute CDS along with numerous traffic violations.

Last week in Circuit Court, Harmon pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of crack cocaine and was sentenced to a year in jail, of which six months was suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for one year upon release.

Shot in The Dark Nets Jail Time

SNOW HILL – What started as a failed shot in the air from a handgun in the downtown Ocean City area in June and led to the arrest of a Pennsylvania man in connection with a burglary in that state during which several handguns were stolen led to a fairly serious amount of jail time in Worcester County for the suspect this week.

Around 2 a.m. on June 16, Ocean City police plainclothes officers patrolling in the downtown area around 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave. observed a man with a larger group of people urinating on a parked car. While the officers continued to observe, the suspect, later identified as Adam Wayne Jackson, 19, of Landenberg, Pa., walk over to another group of people in a hotel parking lot.

Jackson then produced a handgun from his waistband, pointed it straight over his head and pulled the trigger. The gun did not go off, however, and the Ocean City police officers quickly responded to the scene and arrested for possession of the handgun.

During the subsequent investigation, detectives learned prior to their arrival on the scene, Jackson had attempted to rob an unknown victim using the gun. The officers confiscated the weapon, a Glock 9mm pistol, and checked the serial number, which revealed the gun was reported stolen.

OCPD detectives later determined the handgun they recovered from Jackson was one of eight stolen during a residential burglary on June 11 in Londongrove Township, Pa.

OCPD investigators provided the Pennsylvania State Police with information about Jackson and his associates in Ocean City at the time of his arrest. The information enabled Pennsylvania investigators to develop additional suspects in the open burglary cases and eventually make several arrests related to the original burglary on June 11 as well as other burglaries that had occurred in the Londongrove Township area.

For the events leading to his arrest in Ocean City, Jackson was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted robbery, using a handgun in the commission of crime of violence, wearing and carrying a handgun on or about his person, second-degree assault and theft under $500. This week in Worcester County Circuit Court, Jackson pleaded guilty to carrying and transporting a handgun and second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail of each offense. The disposition of the case or cases against Jackson in Pennsylvania is not known.

Pharmacy Break-in

Forwarded To Circuit

BERLIN – A Berlin man arrested in August on burglary charges after DNA evidence obtained from the crime scene connected him to a break-in at Apple Drugs pharmacy in Berlin had an initial appearance last week in District Court and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court.

On Aug. 3, Berlin police responded to the Apple Drugs pharmacy for an activated burglary alarm. The investigation revealed a suspect or suspects forcibly entered the business and stole an amount of prescription medication. During the processing of the crime scene, detectives were able to locate several samples of blood left by the perpetrator.

The blood samples were sent to the Maryland State Police Crime Laboratory where a DNA profile was established. The suspect’s DNA was then entered into the national DNA database for comparison. As a result, detectives were able to determine the DNA of the perpetrator of the burglary at Apple Drugs matched the known DNA profile of Van Kirk Bland II, 50, of Berlin.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Bland charging him with theft and burglary. Detectives then located Bland at his residence and he was placed under arrest without incident. Bland had an initial appearance in court last week and had the case against him forwarded to Circuit Court.

Probation, Hefty Fine For Assault

OCEAN CITY – A Gaithersburg, Md. man arrested in August for assaulting Ocean City police officers and resisting arrest after repeatedly refusing to leave the property of a midtown nightclub pleaded guilty last week in District Court to resisting arrest and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor a lengthy probation period and a hefty fine.

Shortly after midnight on August 30, Ocean City Police bicycle officers in the area of Seacrets on 49th Street were flagged down by nightclub security staff in reference to a disorderly subject on the premises in the parking lot. The officers located a man, later identified as Zachary Adam Hirsh, 24, lying in the bushes along the pavement while talking on his phone.

When Hirsh saw the officers and the security staff standing near him, he allegedly said to whomever he was talking with to hold on, then turned to the officers and, “I’ll [expletive deleted] kill you [expletive deleted],” and “get back.” After several attempts to get Hirsh to get up and leave the premises or risk being arrested for trespassing, the suspect stumbled to his feet and began walking backward toward Coastal Highway.

On several occasions, Hirsh allegedly held his arms spread wide apart and said to the officers, “Now what? I’m off the property.” This happened several times, according to police reports, and each time the officers informed Hirsh he was still on private property. Meanwhile, cars started backing up behind Hirsh and the officers that were following him.

Hirsh finally arrived on the public sidewalk and he was warned not to come back on private property or he would be arrested for trespassing. Nonetheless, he ignored the warning and walked quickly back onto to Seacrets’ property, cutting between cars to avoid police. OCPD officers advised Hirsh he was under arrest and attempted to handcuff him, but the suspect resisted, flailing his arms in an effort to avoid being taken into custody.

After administering take down maneuvers, the officers were able to get Hirsh down on the ground on his stomach in the middle of the sidewalk. Once on the ground, Hirsh continued to resist arrest, kicking at the officers and refusing to allow police to handcuff him. Even after two bursts of pepper spray, Hirsh refused to yield and the officers had to administer knee strikes in order to get control of the suspect.

While waiting for the transport wagon, Hirsh continued to be combative, according to police reports. He allegedly refused to stand on his own feet and became dead weight, falling to the ground where he was standing. While on the ground, Hirsh kicked the arresting officer in the shins several times, according to police reports. At one point, Hirsh spit a large amount of saliva on the arresting officer’s leg. The transport wagon ultimately arrived and Hirsh was put in Violent Person Restraining Device.

The investigation revealed Hirsh allegedly assaulted a Seacrets security staff member before police arrived, which is why he was being asked to leave the premises in the first place. It was shortly after the initial incident that OCPD officers found him in the bushes talking on his phone. Hirsh was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct. A background check revealed he was wanted in Montgomery County on an outstanding warrant.

Last week in District Court, Hirsh pleaded guilty to one count of resisting arrest and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended. He was then placed on probation for three years and fined $1,000.

Probation, Fine For

Sandbar Grounder

OCEAN CITY – A Centerville man arrested on suspicion of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol after twice running his boat aground on sandbars was found guilty last week of operating while impaired and was fined $400 and placed on probation for one year.

Around 7:20 p.m. on August 8, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) arrived on the scene just as a grounded boat was pulled off a sandbar and into deeper water by a Good Samaritan in another vessel. As NRP officers watched the recently released vessel pull away from the area, it quickly became grounded on another sandbar nearby.

NRP officers then pulled the vessel off a sandbar a second time and requested the operator, identified as Matthew Gian Facchina, 41, of Centerville, Md., to perform field sobriety tests. The results of those tests were sufficient to have NRP officers ask another adult on board to take over the helm until the boat could be safely moored at Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City.

Once the vessel was safely docked in the marina, Facchina was taken ashore and asked to perform additional sobriety tests. In the end, Facchina was charged with operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, operating a vessel while impaired and operating a vessel in a reckless manner. Last week, Facchina was found guilty of operating while impaired and was placed on probation for one year and fined $400.

Two More Boardwalk Rioters Fined

OCEAN CITY – Several of the 16 people arrested during a major altercation on the Boardwalk in June continued to make their way through the court system this week with two suspects convicted of failing to obey a lawful order and fined.

In District Court on Tuesday, Felix Weeks, 19, of Preston, pleaded guilty to failure to obey a lawful order and was fined $100. Similarly, Michael Ariste, 20, of Salisbury, also pleaded guilty to failure to obey a lawful order and was fined $300. Weeks and Ariste are just the latest of the 16 arrested during the Boardwalk donnybrook on June 6 to have their days in court with many of the cases dispensed with and several more still to come.

On June 6, Ocean City Police made 16 arrests during a fight that started to simmer at a downtown underage nightclub and escalated throughout the evening before finally ending hours later a couple of blocks down the Boardwalk from where it first started. Around 10:20 p.m. that night, OCPD officers responded to Worcester Street in response to a reported fight inside the underage club. Upon arrival, OCPD officers observed two females, 18-year-old Tanee Dudley and a 17-year-old juvenile, fighting outside the club.

Both were arrested on disorderly conduct charges, and police also arrested two other females involved in the fight. Due to the large crowd at the underage club and the incident that had already occurred, an OCPD officer remained at the location until the club closed around midnight. When the club closed, many of those in attendance including several connected to the earlier fight relocated to the Boardwalk near Worcester Street where trouble started brewing again.

At around 1:30 a.m., another fight broke out in the area of Worcester Street and the Boardwalk, but OCPD officers were on hand and quickly arrested six more involved in the fracas, bringing the total number of arrests related to the initial incident to 10.

OCPD officers attempted to break up the large crowd using additional police personnel, including a mounted patrol officer, which had been very effective in the riot on the Boardwalk two weeks earlier. The crowd was dispersed somewhat, but a large portion started moving north on the Boardwalk when another fight broke out in the area of Somerset Street. OCPD officers continued to break up the fight, but an OCPD officer was attempting to make an arrest when a male suspect attacked the officer from behind by jumping on his back. This provoked additional suspects to become involved and the incident flared up again. When the dust settled, six more suspects were arrested on various charges, bringing the total to 16 arrests.

Arrest Log

OCEAN CITY – With the big Cruisin’ event in town last weekend, the Ocean City Police Department was kept busy with dozens of arrests for crimes from the very serious to the less severe.

Arrests for individuals suspected of involvement with illegal narcotics came in at nine, while arrests of those suspected of driving under the influence was a close second at seven, but there also several other arrests during the period for which little information was provided other than the usual brief reference in the weekly incident report. For example, there were four thefts arrests, three trespassing arrests, two disorderly conducts, one burglary, one indecent exposure and one obstructing and hindering arrest.

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