WEST OCEAN CITY — Two local men were arrested on multiple theft charges this week after an investigation linked them to an alleged spree of vehicle break-ins in the West Ocean City area throughout the month of October.
During the early part of October, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies began investigating a rash of car break-ins and thefts from motor vehicles in the West Ocean City area and along the Route 611 corridor including Frontier Town. During the spree, roughly $3,000 worth of electronics, cash and clothing were stolen from numerous vehicles.
Deputies took numerous reports and began piecing together information on possible suspects. During one of the thefts, an I-phone was stolen. The owner was able to locate the phone using its security features. Deputies responded to meet with the victim, whom they learned had already contacted security personnel at Frontier Town, where the phone’s security features had pinpointed its location.
The victim then activated the phone’s security feature, which led to the location of the suspects, later identified as Zachery A. Mitchell, 18, and Charles J. Mitchell, Jr., 21, both of Berlin. The suspects were interviewed and were later charged with multiple counts of theft, theft scheme and three counts of rogue and vagabond. Each suspect was taken before a District Court Commissioner and each was released on a $15,000 unsecured bond.
Meanwhile, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents and visitors to never leave their phones or belongings in unlocked vehicles overnight. The sheriff’s office hosts a number of training programs for both residents and businesses on how to protect their property and prevent incidents such as this latest theft spree from occurring. In addition, with the approach of the holiday shopping season, burglaries and thefts in the area will likely increase and many will become victims because they failed to lock their doors or secure their valuables.
Armed Robber Returns to Scene
POCOMOKE — A Pocomoke man was arrested on armed robbery and assault charges last week after allegedly first robbing a convenience store at gunpoint and later returning to the scene under the guise of picking up his wife, who works at the establishment.
Around 9:40 a.m. last Tuesday, a masked gunman entered the Duck Inn convenience store on Lynnhaven Drive in Pocomoke. The suspect approached an employee behind the counter and pointed a black handgun at her. He then went behind the counter to the cash register. The employee was ordered to lie on her back while the suspect removed cash from the register and stuffed it in his pants.
A second employee then emerged from the back of the store and was ordered to walk behind the counter. The gunman ordered the second employee to open the Maryland Lottery cash register. The employee complied with the demands while the suspect emptied the Lotto register and stuffed that cash in the front of his pants. The suspect then ordered the second employee to lie on the ground while he fled through the front door of the store.
Pocomoke Police arrived and secured the scene and requested the assistance of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI). While officers and detectives were reviewing the video footage of the incident, one of the officers recognized the suspect as Kevin Cornnell Presco, the husband of one of the store employees. A short time later, Presco arrived at the scene under the guise of picking his wife up from work.
Presco was detained and questioned, but was uncooperative. Search warrants were subsequently executed on Presco’s residence and vehicle and evidence was collected at both locations connecting him to the robbery. Presco was arrested and charged with armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, handgun on person, verbal extortion, threat of injury and theft. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held without bond.
Fireplace Ashes Blamed For Blaze
BERLIN — The careless disregard of fireplace ashes is being blamed this week as the cause of a house fire in Berlin early last Thursday morning.
Around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday, the Berlin and Newark Fire Departments responded to a reported house fire on Route 113.
First-arriving units reported fire extending from a first-floor window located on the front of the dwelling. The fire was quickly extinguished and was contained to the room of origin. However, smoke and heat damage was observed throughout the residence. The dwelling was occupied by a single resident and a family pet and both were able to escape without injury. The cause of the fire was determined to be the careless disregard of ashes from the fireplace.
Anyone with questions or further information is urged to contact Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Matt Owens at 410-632-5666.
Attempted Murder Arrest
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on attempted murder and assault charges this week after allegedly firing several shots into an occupied residence following a dispute.
Around 6:30 p.m. last Friday, Salisbury Police responded to a residence on Holland Ave. for a report of an individual firing a weapon into a house. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified a Kenny Lopez, 26, of Salisbury, entered the residence and requested to see the victim’s cousin. When the victim informed Lopez her cousin was not at home, Lopez became angry and displayed a handgun, according to police reports.
Lopez then exited the residence and allegedly fired several rounds of ammunition into the house and fled the area in a vehicle. One of the rounds entered the residence and became lodged in a wall. The residence was occupied by six individuals at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured.
Through the investigation, Lopez was identified as the suspect and an arrest warrant was obtained. On Tuesday, Lopez was arrested by members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team. Detectives executed a search and seizure warrant on Lopez’ residence on Schumaker Drive and recovered the handgun and ammunition that had been reported stolen.
Phone Scam Warning
BERLIN — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is warning local residents of a scam circulating during which a caller pretends to be a Jamaican resident and informs potential victims they have won millions of dollars or expensive vehicles.
According to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, a suspect identified as a Jamaican national currently going by the name Jeff Deshone has been calling individuals throughout the county informing them they have won $2.5 million and a Mercedes-Benz. The suspect informs potential victims all they need to do is go to Wal-Mart and send him a money order for $125 and provides a phone number listed as 1 (876) 652-9798. Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies have called the number and made contact with Deshone and found his response to their questions false and evasive.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking residents who may have been victimized by this scam or any other to contact them at 410-632-1111 and they will investigate each and every complaint.