OCEAN PINES — Three local men and a juvenile female were arrested on burglary and theft charges last week after allegedly swiping thousands of dollars’ worth of rare coins, autographed baseballs and an old handgun from the grandfather of one of the suspects.
Back on Aug. 6, Ocean Pines police responded to residence on King Richard Drive for a reported burglary and theft. O officers met with a victim who said he walked into a bedroom at the residence and discovered about $300 in cash missing from his wife’s purse. The victim then looked around the room and noticed a cherry case containing 15 commemorative coins from the 1996 Olympics was also missing.
The victim told police his grandson, later identified as Shawn Patrick Murray, 18, of Berlin, was likely the perpetrator. The victim told police Murray did not have a key to the residence, but was the only individual who likely knew where the valuable items were kept. The victim also explained Murray had been a guest at the residence, but had been asked to leave after inviting over friends who made a mess.
The victim was told to search the residence to determine what else, if anything, had been stolen. When police returned two days later, the victim told investigators several rare coins and currency had been stolen, along with a baseball autographed by Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville, along with another baseball autographed by Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson.
The victim told police the Babe Ruth baseball had been appraised about seven years earlier at $35,000. In addition, the victim also reported as stolen a rare French-made Unique-brand .32 caliber handgun. The victim told police he had registered the handgun with the Maryland State Police when he acquired it in 1956, but did not know the serial number. The total estimated value of all of the stolen items came to $51,661.
Ocean Pines police, with the assistance of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, were able to track some of the stolen items to local pawnshops and jewelers and nearly all of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the victim.
Last week, police located Murray and he admitted entering his grandfather’s home and stealing the coins, currency, autographed balls and the handgun. The investigation led to other arrests, including Travis James Melvin, 20, of Ocean Pines; William Casey Blake, 23, of Ocean Pines; and a 17-year-old female. Murray and Melvin were each charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft over $10,000. Burke was charged with theft over $10,000 and the juvenile female was charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft.