OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on theft and other charges last weekend after State Senator Jim Mathias observed him acting suspiciously in the Teal Drive area early last Sunday morning.
Around 12:30 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police received a call in reference to a suspicious person spotted in the area of Teal Drive. The caller, later identified as Mathias, told police the suspect was acting suspiciously and remained on the phone and reported the location of the suspicious individual until police arrived.
Responding officers quickly located the suspect, identified as Matthew Jacob Bullen, 21, whose court record identifies him as an Ocean City resident, in an alleyway off Teal Drive. While speaking to Bullen, officers noticed a woman’s bracelet with the sales tag still attached fall from the suspect’s pocket. Officers also determined Bullen had an active arrest warrant in Anne Arundel County for prescription drug fraud and other charges.
Further investigation revealed three vehicles in the area had been broken into and that Bullen was in possession of items stolen from those vehicles. Bullen was then arrested and charged by Ocean City Police with theft under $100, theft under $1,000 and willful motor vehicle tampering without the owner’s consent.
Bullen was seen by a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $5,000 bond regarding the Ocean City charges, and a $10,000 bond for the outstanding Anne Arundel County warrant. He was then transferred to the Worcester County Jail. Acting OCPD Chief Michael Colbert commended Mathias for his actions and reminded citizens of the importance of partnering with the police department.
“This is a classic example of how police and the community can work together to solve and deter crime in our neighborhoods,” he said. “The Ocean City Police Department continues to encourage citizens to practice pro-active crime prevention by calling police when they see suspicious persons or circumstances.”
Meanwhile, last weekend’s arrest was not Bullen’s first with local and regional law enforcement officials. Just about one year ago this week, Bullen was involved, along with another man, in the theft of a canoe in the Fenwick Island area. Bullen and the other man, the late Nicholas R. Townsend, 23, of Ocean City, were paddling the stolen canoe in the Assawoman Bay around 4:30 a.m. last March 2 when the vessel capsized.
Bullen was able to make it to shore, but Townsend was never seen again. After an extensive search, Townsend’s body was recovered from the Assawoman Bay near Ocean City two weeks later. The investigation revealed after Bullen reached the shore, he allegedly used a brick to smash out a window at a residence on Roosevelt Ave., entered the residence and changed into dry clothes before returning to his own residence. It was then that Bullen reported the capsizing to his roommate.
Bullen was charged in Delaware with theft of a canoe from a residence on Monroe Ave. in Fenwick along with the break-in at the residence on Roosevelt Ave. He was charged with second-degree burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. The disposition of those charges in Delaware against Bullen is not known.