BERLIN — Three Salisbury residents were arrested on theft and theft scheme charges this week after local law enforcement officials were able to connect them to a series of thefts of flat-screen televisions, computers and other electronics from the Wal-Mart in Berlin totaling thousands of dollars.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
On Jan. 26, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the theft of numerous laptop computers, desktop computers, televisions, home surveillance equipment and Blu-Ray DVDs from the Wal-Mart in Berlin. Surveillance camera evidence revealed three suspects entered the store and worked together to steal computers and televisions. The investigation revealed the three suspects returned later the same day and stole several more laptop computers.
On Monday, Feb. 4, the three suspects, identified as Jaquell Murray, Wanda Murray and Richard Kelly, all of Salisbury, returned to the Berlin Wal-Mart and stole two more flat-screen televisions, a desktop computer and two home surveillance kits. The net value of those stolen items came to $5,000.
The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI), the Berlin Police Department, Maryland State Police and the Fruitland Police Department to assist in the identification of the three suspects. On Tuesday, the investigating officer was notified by Wal-Mart security that the three suspects had returned to the store.
The officer was able to locate and stop their vehicle and identified the three suspects using surveillance cameras and Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) photographs. All three have been charged with two counts of theft less than $1,000, two counts of theft from $1,000 to $10,000, theft scheme from $1,000 to $10,000 and conspiracy.
Later on Tuesday, WCBI detectives executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence in Salisbury where the suspects had stored some of the stolen items. WCBI was able to recover some of the stolen items, but learned a large amount of the electronic equipment had been sold to the public.
WCBI detectives have since obtained the serial numbers of the stolen televisions, laptops and personal computers and have entered them in the National Crime Information Center database as stolen. Anyone found in possession of the items could potentially be charged with possession of stolen property.
WCBI is asking citizens across Delmarva to contact the agency or turn over any electronic items they had purchased from the three suspects. WCBI is still actively working the case and can be contacted at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111.