Pines Burglary Suspects Sought

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OCEAN PINES – County law
enforcement officials this week are looking for a suspect or suspects who broke
into a residence in the north section of Ocean Pines and stole a 500-pound
safe, among other things.

Around 3:30 p.m. on
Monday, Maryland State Police troopers, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies and
Ocean Pines Police responded to a residence on Dolly Circle for a reported
burglary. Upon arrival, police determined an unknown suspect or suspects had
forced entry into the residence and had reportedly stolen a large safe weighing
about 500 pounds before fleeing the area.

Several police K-9 units
were called to the scene to conduct a search of the area in an attempt to
locate the suspect or suspects. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation
(WCBI) and a forensic investigator were called in to take over the
investigation, and after the victims were interviewed, the entire surrounding
area was processed for possible latent evidence.

The investigation
determined the burglary occurred between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. and the
suspect or suspects may have used a vehicle, which was believed to have been
parked in the front grassy area of the residence along Beauchamp Rd. The
burglarized residence is situated along Beauchamp Rd. between River Run and the
White Horse Trailer Park and is visible by traffic from both directions.

Because of the proximity
of the residence to the heavily traveled road and the time of day of the
incident, WCBI detectives are asking anyone who might have been traveling in
the area at the time and might have seen something suspicious to contact WCBI Detective
Kagan at 443-783-5227, or WCBI at 410-352-3476.

K-9 Reveals Handgun, Pot

OCEAN CITY – A Delaware
man was arrested on drug and weapons charges last week after an Ocean City
Police Department (OCPD) K-9 unit on routine patrol in a downtown parking lot
alerted on his vacant vehicle.

Around 11 p.m. last
Friday, OCPD conducted a random K-9 drug detection scan of vehicles parked in
the municipal parking lot at Worcester Street, during which a police K-9 dog
alerted on a vacant vehicle. OCPD officer watched the vehicle and observed a suspect,
later identified as Rashawk De Alo Johnson, 23, of Dover, Del., along with
several other people, return and enter the car.

OCPD officers approached
the vehicle and identified Johnson as the owner. A search of the vehicle turned
up an unknown quantity of marijuana and a .45-caliber handgun. Johnson was
arrested and charged with possession of a handgun and possession of a controlled
dangerous substance. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and
released on his own recognizance.

Purse Snatcher Still At
Large

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City
Police this week continue to look for a strong-arm robbery suspect who late
last week assaulted a woman on Baltimore Ave. and stole her purse.

Last Wednesday, the OCPD
responded to the area of Baltimore Ave. and 27th Street for a
reported strong-arm robbery. OCPD officers met with a 62-year-old female victim
who told police she had her purse on her arm when an unknown assailant grabbed
it from behind. The victim told police she wrestled with the assailant over the
purse before the suspect pushed her to the ground and ran away with it.

At the time, the suspect
was last seen running west on 28th Street. OCPD officers brought in
K-9 units to track the suspect, but were unable to locate the suspect or the
purse. The suspect is described as a black male, around 5’9’ to 67’ tall with a
stocky build. At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a white
T-shirt and dark pants and wore his hair down past his ears, according to the
victim.

The purse is described
as white with a shoulder strap, with zippers on both sides and one zipper in
the interior. The victim was injured during the assault and robbery, although
the injuries were not considered to be life threatening. Nonetheless, the
victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information
about the attack and robbery, or the possible identification of the suspect, is
urged to call the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604. As
always, information given to the OCPD can be done so confidentially.

Traffic Stop Nets
Cocaine Bust

WEST OCEAN CITY – An
Ocean City woman was arrested on cocaine possession and drunk-driving charges
this week after a routine traffic stop in West Ocean City.

Around 2 a.m. on Monday,
a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle on Route 50 at Inlet Isle
Rd. for a traffic violation. Upon making contact with the driver, identified as
Nikki Lynn Coleman, 42, of Ocean City, the trooper detected the odor of alcohol
coming from the vehicle. Coleman was administered field sobriety tests and
ultimately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Once in custody, Coleman
requested her purse, and as the officer checked the purse for weapons, he
discovered an undisclosed amount of cocaine inside and possession charges were
added to the drunk-driving charges.

Juvenile Escapes Police

OCEAN PINES – Two
suspects were arrested for a vehicle break-in spree in Ocean Pines last Friday,
one of whom, a 17-year-old juvenile, later escaped from police headquarters and
was still at large as of mid-week.

While patrolling in the
community last week, Ocean Pines Police spotted two individuals allegedly
involved in entering parked vehicles and stealing electronic items such as
I-pods and GPS systems. Police arrested the two individuals, identified as
Eyoke Spates, 19, of Salisbury, and an unidentified 17-year-old juvenile, and were
able to recover all of the property reported stolen. The investigation revealed
the suspects had entered 14 vehicles, all of which were unlocked.

The 17-year-old juvenile
was able to pull a restraining device from the wall at police headquarters in
the Pines and escaped from the building. A massive manhunt failed to locate the
juvenile and he was still at large as of mid-week. Meanwhile, Spates was
charged with theft, theft scheme and rogue and vagabond. He was released on
Monday after posting a $10,000 bond.

Two Years For Condo
Burglary

OCEAN CITY – A Salisbury
man arrested in July after Ocean City police were able to use fingerprints
lifted from a soda can to implicate him in a November condo burglary pleaded
guilty last week in District Court to fourth-degree burglary and was sentenced
to two years in jail.

Back on Nov. 10, 2009,
an OCPD officer responded to the area of 74th Street for an
allegedly despondent individual, who later told the officer he had broken into
a residence on 78th Street and had been staying there over the
previous three or four days drinking alcohol in the unit. The officer went to
the 78th Street area and found the unit in question with its rear
sliding door open.

The officer looked in
the unit and observed numerous vodka bottles and beer cans on the kitchen
counter and it became apparent he had found the unit to which the suspect,
later identified as James Dewey Adkins, 41, of Salisbury, had referred. The
officer went inside and discovered a case of Beck’s beer along with a bottle of
rum and a bottle of tequila had been consumed.

The officer then went to
the second floor and discovered a locked closet had been broken into with
several items scattered throughout the hallway. The officer also noted in his
report it appeared the beds in the unit had been slept in. On the bottom floor,
the officer noticed the rubber tubing around the front door in the area of the
lock had been sliced open consistent with a slice made by a plastic card to
gain entrance to the unit.

Later in the day, the
officer made contact with the unit’s owner who said no one had permission to be
in the residence. The owner also said the Beck’s beer and the vodka and tequila
had been locked in the upstairs closet and identified the brands of the liquor.

No charges were
immediately filed against Adkins nor was he arrested as the investigation
continued. On March 25, an OCPD crime technician confirmed Adkins’ fingerprints
were on a soft drink can collected from the burglarized unit as evidence. An
arrest warrant was sworn out for Adkins and he was located and arrested in
July.

He was charged with
first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary along with theft and malicious
destruction of property. Last week, Adkins pleaded guilty to fourth-degree
burglary and was sentenced to two years in jail. He was then given credit for
the 30 days he spent in jail awaiting trial.

Summer Drug Bust Cases

Forwarded To Circuit

OCEAN CITY – A handful
of suspects snared in an undercover OCPD drug buy-bust initiative and arrested
of various narcotics possession and distribution charges appeared in District
Court last week and had their cases forwarded to Circuit Court.

Throughout much of the
summer, OCPD undercover narcotics officers implemented an aggressive “buy-bust”
campaign throughout the resort targeting the sale of illegal drugs. In some
cases, undercover officers acted as potential buyers and snared would-be
dealers. In other cases, the officers acted as dealers and arranged sales to
unsuspecting buyers. A handful of the suspects arrested in June started
appearing in District Court last week and several had their cases forwarded to
Circuit Court.

For example, on June 12,
OCPD undercover officers were working a buy-bust detail in the area of St.
Louis Ave. when they were approached by two individuals who inquired about
purchasing marijuana. The two suspects, later identified as Zachary Witman and
Kyler Killian, both 19 and both of Middletown, Pa., walked to a vehicle parked
directly in front of the undercover officers’ vehicle.

Witman and Killian
allegedly handed the agreed upon amount of marijuana to the undercover officers
through the window of their vehicle. The pair was then arrested and charged
with possession and distribution of marijuana. A search of their vehicle turned
up an unknown quantity of weed and a digital scale. Last week, both Killian and
Witman appeared in District Court and each had their cases forwarded to Circuit
Court.

On June 11, an OCPD
officer on uniformed bike patrol in the downtown area observed a vehicle
heading south on St. Louis Ave. with a taillight flashing on and off,
suggesting it had a loose wire. The officer pulled the vehicle over and
approached the driver’s side door when he observed the driver, identified as
Brendin Wessman, 25, of Berlin, and the passenger, Robert Francisco, 20, of
Georgetown, attempting to conceal something near Francisco’s front pocket.

The officer called for
back-up and a K-9 search of the vehicle turned up marijuana, ecstasy, and
methadone in amounts suggesting distribution, along with currency packaged in
such a way to suggest distribution. Wessman and Francisco each appeared in District
Court last week and each had their cases forwarded to Circuit Court.

Stiff Fine For
Counterfeiter

OCEAN CITY – A
Pennsylvania man arrested in July on counterfeit charges after passing phony
money at several Boardwalk locations pleaded guilty last week in District Court
to possession of forged currency and was handed a stiff fine and placed on
probation.

On July 12, two OCPD
officers on patrol on the Boardwalk were flagged down by an employee of
Ripley’s Believe It or Not, who told police an unknown suspect had passed a
counterfeit $10 bill at the attraction two days earlier on July 10. The
officers examined the phony $10 bill and asked the employee if they could
review the business’s surveillance tapes from the day of the incident.

The officers reviewed
the tapes of the date and time in question with the employee and were able to
develop a description of the suspect, who was with a woman and child of around
five years of age. A short time later, the officers were called to Souvenir
City a few blocks away about a man passing a counterfeit $10 bill. The clerk at
Souvenir City told police he had been given the heads up by employees at Boog’s
Barbeque, who had just received a counterfeit $10 bill after observing the
suspect coming from Souvenir City.

The investigation
determined each of the counterfeit $10 bills from Ripley’s, Souvenir City and
Boog’s Barbeque had matching false serial numbers. After one of the officers
left Boog’s and headed back to Souvenir City, he observed a man he believed he
had seen in the surveillance video at Ripley’s. The first officer contacted the
second officer, who arrived nearby and agreed the man they had identified in
the surveillance video was the same man they had seen nearby.

The officers detained
the suspect, later identified as Dennis A. Wildberger, 48, of Stewartstown, Pa.
When questioned, Wildberger told police he didn’t know anything about the
counterfeit $10 bills. One of the officers asked Wildberger if he had any money
on him, and the suspect produced a wad of cash. When the officer started going
through the wad of cash, he immediately identified another one of the
counterfeit $10 bills, at which point Wildberger allegedly said, “On second
thought, I’d rather you not go through my money.”

Wildberger was arrested
and charged with knowingly possessing with unlawful intent counterfeit U.S.
currency and knowingly issuing counterfeit U.S. currency. In addition, he was
charged with theft under $100 for allegedly stealing candy from Ripley’s. Last
week in District Court, Wildberger pleaded guilty to possession of forged
currency and was fined $1,000. He was also placed on probation for two years.

Berlin House Fire

BERLIN – A fire ripped
through a Berlin residence last week but all of the occupants of the home were
able to escape and no injuries were reported.

Around 9 p.m. last
Sunday, the Berlin Fire Department responded to a reported residential fire on
Railroad Ave. First-arriving units reported heavy fire showing from the second
floor of the two-story home. Berlin firefighters made an aggressive interior attack
and were able to bring the blaze under control a short time later.

The dwelling was
occupied at the time, but all of the residents of the home were able to escape
and no injuries were reported. The Red Cross arrived and assisted the displaced
occupants. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated and
determined the fire originated near a window air conditioner unit. The cause of
the fire is listed as accidental. Anyone with additional information is urged
to call Chief Deputy Matt Owens at 410-632-5666.

OCPD Wins Wheelchair

Race, Assists Charity

OCEAN CITY – The OCPD,
represented by Chief Bernadette DiPino and Public Safety Aid Daniel Bokinsky,
competed in a wacky relay race during a Shorebirds game last Friday and raised
$500 for the Special Olympics of Maryland.

The competition, which
was held at Perdue Stadium last Friday during a Shorebirds game, was made up of
12 teams contending for a $500 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.
The OCPD team came in first place during their initial heat and advanced to the
final round and a showdown with Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis and Chief
Deputy Gary Baker. According to OCPD reports, DiPino and Bokinsky blew away the
competition in the finals to claim the $500 prize.

“The Wacky Wheelchair
Race was a great event,” said the chief. “Not only was it fun to be a part of,
but it was a great way to unite law enforcement and the community to raise
money and awareness for charity.”

The OCPD chose to donate
their winnings to the Special Olympics of Maryland. The OCPD is actively
involved in the law enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and participates
in other events throughout the year to raise money for the organization.

 

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