SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man convicted last October for breaking into a resort pharmacy in April 2008 and sentenced to 12 years in jail with all suspended but one year, had his probation terminated last week in Circuit Court and was sent back to jail for over eight years.
In October 2008, Brandon Peeples, 29, of Ocean City, was found guilty of second-degree burglary for breaking into Bailey’s Pharmacy on 8th Street for the second time in a year and was sentenced to 12 years in jail, all of which was suspended but one year. However, he has since violated the terms of his probation, bringing him back into court last Friday for a violation of probation hearing.
During the hearing last Friday, the court ruled Peeples had indeed violated his post-conviction requirements and terminated his probation. Peeples was then sentenced to eight years in jail plus 100 days and was returned to jail.
Around 3 a.m. on April 28, Ocean City Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief David Cropper was responding to an accident when he noticed a person inside Bailey’s Pharmacy on 8th Street. Suspecting the individual did not belong in the store at such an early hour, Cropper notified police, which touched off an investigation and later arrest of Peeples after a wild scene during which an OCPD K-9 dog fell down an elevator shaft.
After receiving the tip from Cropper, an OCPD officer responded to the pharmacy and noticed the front door was smashed and a newspaper vending machine lying on the ground nearby. The officer called for back-up and took a position by the pharmacy’s back door.
Other officers responded to the scene with K-9 dog “Tacko” and entered the store to begin the search for the suspect. “Tacko” led police to the second floor where the police dog fell through an open elevator shaft to the first floor. The fall resulted in a deep cut over the dog’s eye and he was treated by a veterinarian and released to his handler.
Following the dog’s lead, police found Peeples hiding behind a pile of wood near the open elevator shaft and the suspect was taken into custody. The investigation revealed Peeples had initially broken into the pharmacy and removed numerous bottles of controlled dangerous prescription medicines totaling over 1,300 pills.
Peeples had left the pharmacy and stashed the stolen drugs in a trashcan on the Boardwalk near the public restrooms at 9th Street. He then went back to the pharmacy to steal more items when he was spotted by Cropper. After his arrest, Peeples was transported to Atlantic General Hospital because booking personnel found him unresponsive.
At the hospital, Peeples told police he had taken a large quantity of the drugs during the robbery. Peeples also told police he had stashed a large quantity of the stolen pills near the public restrooms at 9th Street and the Boardwalk in a trashcan behind the seawall. Police searched the area and recovered several bottles of the stolen pills including valium, zantax, hydrocodone and other controlled dangerous substances. The pharmacy owner was brought to the scene and identified the bottles.
Peeples was charged with a wide variety of offenses including burglary, theft, malicious destruction of property and numerous drug possession charges. In October 2008, Peeples pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to 12 years in jail, all of which but one year was suspended.
For Peeples, his arrest in April 2008 came just about one year after his arrest in May 2007 for practically the exact same crime. In that incident, resort police responded to the pharmacy for a reported break-in and found the suspect had used a nearby newspaper box to smash the store’s window and detectives were able to follow a trail of blood to Peeple’s apartment nearby. He was later convicted and served several months for that crime before returning to the scene for a repeat performance a year later.