OCEAN CITY — A Philadelphia man was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges this week after fleeing from police during a routine traffic stop and breaking into a nearby residence to steal a disguise and a bicycle.
Around 4 p.m. on Monday, an Ocean City police officer pulled over a vehicle around 32nd Street and Philadelphia Ave. after noticing the plates were expired and the driver was not wearing a seat belt. The officer approached the driver, who told police he did not have a valid driver’s license, but identified himself as Sean Witherspoon. Also in the vehicle was a female identified by her Pennsylvania driver’s license as Joelle Witherspoon, who was the driver’s wife.
The officer returned to the patrol car to conduct a driver’s license check and came back to the suspect’s car and asked the occupants to get out. At that point, the driver walked toward the back of the car before successfully fleeing police on foot.
Meanwhile, his wife stayed back with the vehicle and told police the suspect was her husband and that they had been together for two years. Joelle Witherspoon eventually provided police with her husband’s real identity, Weldon C. Lucas III, 37, of Philadelphia. A background check on Lucas revealed he had a suspended license and was wanted on several warrants through Pennsylvania, at least one of which allowed for full extradition. There were alerts on the warrants stating Lucas should be considered armed and dangerous and that he had prior firearms convictions.
Around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, police located Lucas and he was taken into custody without further incident. During the post-arrest interview, Lucas told police he had been pulled over by a rookie cop and had run from the scene. Lucas told police he ran toward the bay and began checking residences for unlocked doors. He eventually found an unlocked door on a first-floor unit at the Jamaica Daybreak South condo and went inside to hide from the police pursuing him.
Lucas told police he took a T-shirt and a hat from the residence and changed clothes in order to affect a disguise. Lucas told police he then watched the police outside the building until they left the area. He then took a blue bike from inside the residence and rode away. Lucas was asked where the stolen bike was and he told the officers he had left it in the dune area between one of the high-rise condominium buildings and the beach. The bike was later located.