Alleged Copper Theft Nabbed

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BERLIN — A Berlin man was arrested on burglary and theft charges this week after investigators were able to connect him to a break-in at a Perdue facility in Bishopville.

On Nov. 19, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office took an initial report of a burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property case at the Perdue facility in Bishopville including several chicken houses and an office building. Because of the nature of the reported burglary, the case was forwarded to the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI).

The investigation revealed the suspect or suspects had gained entry to the facility by forcing open a door to the office building. Once entry was gained, access to the entire facility was possible. According to police reports, the entire building was gutted for the valuable copper, aluminum and other precious metals. The interior walls and ceilings were damaged to gain access to the metals inside.

WCBI detectives were able to connect a suspect, identified as Christopher Charles Simone, 31, of Berlin, to the break-in at the Perdue facility. A neighbor reported seeing a vehicle registered to Simone around the premises. The same neighbor reported seeing a white male matching Simone’s description walking across the Perdue property and carrying buckets in the direction of his parked vehicle.

WCBI conducted a lengthy and thorough search of invoices from area salvage yards where precious metals are often exchanged for cash. Detectives discovered several invoices in Simone’s name during the week following the Perdue break-in for copper and aluminum in amounts consistent with the estimated loss at the facility.

Based on the information, detectives formally charged Simone with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property and a warrant for his arrest was sworn. Last Wednesday, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was able to locate Simone and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. He was arraigned before a District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance pending trial.

Three Arrested In Break-in

WEST OCEAN CITY — Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives arrested two Berlin men and a juvenile on burglary and malicious destruction of property charges last week after connecting them to a break-in at a West Ocean City paint ball facility in July.

Shortly before noon on July 14, a Maryland State Police trooper was dispatched to a burglary alarm at OC Paintball on Route 50 in West Ocean City. The investigation revealed a window to the building had been broken. A perimeter was secured and additional resources, including a K-9 unit from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, were requested and an entire search of the facility and its grounds was conducted to no avail.

Evidence collected at the scene was sent to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division for analysis and resulted in the positive identification of one suspect. As a result of the analysis and the confirmation of the identity of one alleged suspect, interviews were conducted that resulted in confessions being obtained from three individuals including two adults and one juvenile last week.

Arrested were Patrick M. Simpson, 21, James Joseph Glenn, 21, and a 17-year-old juvenile, all of Berlin. Each was charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and malicious destruction of property. Both Simpson and Glenn were arraigned before a District Court Commissioner and were released after posting $10,000 bonds. The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents and is awaiting a review of the case by Juvenile Justice.

Rape Alleged In Berlin

BERLIN — A Berlin man is being held on rape charges this week after an alleged incident at an apartment complex last week.

Last Wednesday, the Berlin Police Department received a call for a reported rape. Officers responded to Atlantic General Hospital and met with the alleged victim. The investigation revealed around noon on Nov. 22, the victim was at the Quail Run I apartments in Berlin with the suspect, later identified as Dawaun Robert Harmon, 29, of Berlin.

The victim told police Harmon, whom she knew only by name, had raped and inappropriately touched her. Due to the nature of the reported crime, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was brought in to investigate the case. Harmon was developed as the suspect and the victim positively identified him as the perpetrator, according to police reports.

With the help of the Berlin Police Department, Harmon was located at his residence on Bay Street and was taken into custody without incident. He has been charged with second-degree rape, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. Harmon was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $100,000. He remained in custody at the Worcester County Detention Center as of mid-week.

More Fighters Convicted

SNOW HILL — A few more suspects from the group of nine Delaware men arrested in April on first-degree assault and gang-related charges after an unprovoked and “vicious” attack on the Boardwalk appeared in Circuit Court last week with varying outcomes in their cases.

Around 1:15 a.m. on April 24, the OCPD was dispatched to a reported fight in progress on the Boardwalk at Somerset Street. Upon arrival, an OCPD officer made contact with a male victim whose shirt was stretched and ripped at the collar and whose face was visibly bruised and swollen along with cuts and abrasions on its left side. The victim told police he and his three cousins were “jumped and assaulted” on the Boardwalk.
The victim told police they were approached while walking on the Boardwalk by a large group of males. One of the males in the group allegedly said to the victims “hey, what are you looking at?” and when the victims tried to ignore the query, the suspects repeated the question. The victim told police he tried to ignore the group, but was soon surrounded by as many as 15 assailants who attacked them.
Two of the victims were able to flee, but two were not able to get away because of the physical attack they were enduring. One of the victims told police he was tackled by the large group, who continuously punched him with closed fists and began kicking him in the head, face, abdomen and back while he was “helplessly lying on the ground trying unsuccessfully to block some of the vicious blows he was receiving,” according to police reports. The victim told police he felt he was on the ground for a significant amount of time as he was being battered.
The victims told police once the group finished their attack, they fled the area on foot. The victims were able to provide physical descriptions of their attackers, but told police they were more concerned with protecting themselves if the group returned and started beating them again. The victims told police they didn’t do anything to provoke the beatings. In fact, the victims told police they “felt as if they just did it for fun,” according to police reports.
A description of the assailants was broadcast and another OCPD officer immediately recognized the alleged attackers as a group he had observed earlier in the night. A description of the vehicles in which the assailants were traveling was broadcast and the two vehicles were located a short time later in the area of 54th Street. The victims were brought to the area to identify the attackers and positively identified six members of the group including Robert Hill, 20, of Camden, Del.; Jamera Fisher, 19, of Dover; Julian Freeman, 22, of Dover; D’Andrew Chandler, 18, of Dover; Duante Morrison, 18, of Magnolia; and Craig Powell, 25, of Dover.
Around two hours later, at 3:39 a.m., police located a third vehicle containing three more suspects in the area of 21st Street. Again, the victims were brought to the scene to identify the suspects, including Randall Harris, 18, of Dover; Keontre Hynson, 18, of Dover; and Zamale Bull, 19, of Harrington. 
Last week in Circuit Court, Fisher was found guilty of participating in gang activity and was sentenced to six years in jail, all but three of which were suspended. He was also fined $500 and placed on probation for two years. Meanwhile, Morrison was found guilty of participating in gang activity and possession of a handgun. He was sentenced to eight years for the first charge, all of which was suspended but three years and nine months. Morrison was also sentenced to three years for the handgun conviction, which he will serve concurrently. Also last week, Hynson was found guilty of participating in gang activity, but sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Freeman was found guilty of participating in gang activity and was sentenced to five years in jail. Hill was found guilty of robbery and participation in gang activity and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. He is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Trials are still pending for the remaining defendants.

Knife Assault Alleged

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges this week after allegedly threatening his wife and her sister with a knife.

Shortly after 3 p.m. last Sunday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported domestic situation involving a knife at a residence on Booth Street. The investigation revealed a suspect, later identified as Darrick Mitchell, 34, of Salisbury, had brandished a knife and placed it under his wife’s throat, threatening to kill her. Mitchell is also accused of then brandishing the knife while moving toward his wife’s sister and threatening her.

Mitchell was located and short time later and was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. While being removed from the residence and transported to a patrol vehicle, Mitchell allegedly became profane and disorderly while disturbing several neighbors in the area. After an appearance before a District Court Commissioner, Mitchell is being detained in the Wicomico County Detention Center on a $75,000 bond.

Counterfeit Bills At Wal-Mart

SALISBURY — A Delaware man was arrested on counterfeiting and drug charges last week after allegedly passing phony bills at a Wal-Mart in Salisbury.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Wednesday, Salisbury Police responded to the Wal-Mart on North Salisbury Blvd. for a report of counterfeit currency. Officers met with store security who told police a suspect, later identified as Anthony Keith Johnson, 46, of Seaford, Del., had attempted to pay for store merchandize with six counterfeit bills.

The counterfeit currency was seized and Johnson was taken into custody. During a search of Johnson incident to his arrest on the counterfeit charges, seven pills of controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia were found on his person and additional charges were tacked on.

Prostitution Arrest

SALISBURY — A Salisbury woman was arrested on prostitution charges last week after an undercover sting operation.

Around 2:25 p.m. last Tuesday, Salisbury Police were working in an undercover capacity in the area of Railroad Ave. and East Church Street as part of an ongoing operation targeting prostitution in the area. During the operation, an undercover Salisbury Police officer was contacted by a suspect later identified as Annette Deloris Collins, 55, of Salisbury, who allegedly propositioned the officer. Collins was arrested and charged with general prostitution.

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