OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested last week on first-degree burglary and other charges after an investigation connected him to the theft of a silver bar and old coins he allegedly swiped from his uncle’s Ocean City residence before pawning them in area shops.
Last June 12, an OCPD officer responded to a residence on Jarvis Ave. in north Ocean City for a reported breaking and entering. The officer met with the victim, who said he returned to his residence and noticed the screen door was open but the front door was locked, which is not how he left it.
The victim said a fan in an open window appeared to be slightly ajar. The victim told police he believed someone had entered through the window and then left through the front door. The victim noticed several items missing including a 1971 Franklin Mint Christmas silver bar valued at $150 and a glass beer mug containing around $40 in loose change.
An OCPD detective entered the 1971 silver bar into the Regional Automated Property Information Database (RAPID) and received a notification a similar item had been pawned at a pawn shop in Rehoboth that same day. The pawn shop requires customers to provide photo identification. The customer who pawned the silver bar was identified by his Delaware driver’s license as Andrew Dulaney, 31, of Lewes, Del. In addition to the 1971 Franklin Mint silver bar, the suspect also pawned a Morgan silver dollar and a Peace Dollar. The pawn shop paid Dulaney $52 for all three items. The detective recovered the silver bar and coins.
Six days later on June 18, the OCPD detective met with the victim who positively identified the silver bar as his property. The detective also showed the victim Dulaney’s picture and the victim positively identified the suspect as his nephew.
The victim told police his nephew did not have permission to enter his residence or remove any of his property. The victim also advised he determined a book containing about 100 Indian head pennies was also missing.
Based on the investigation, the detective applied for charges of first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft less than $1,000 against Dulaney. Last Thursday, Dulaney was taken into custody and charged with the listed offenses. He was arrested and taken before a District Court Commissioner before being released on his own recognizance.
Dangerous Weapons Bust
OCEAN CITY — A White Marsh, Md. man was arrested this week on weapons charges after resort police found him in possession of a knife, a wooden club and metal knuckles.
Around 11 p.m. on Monday, an OCPD officer responded to an address near 7th Street and Philadelphia Ave. for a report of a man with gun. Upon arrival, the officer located a suspect, identified as William Elcock, 29, of White Marsh, and found him to be in possession of three dangerous weapons.
During a consent search of Elcock’s vehicle, the officer located on the dashboard a spring-assisted knife. When asked, Elcock confirmed the knife was his. The officer also found in the vehicle a wood club hidden between the driver’s seat and the driver’s side door. At that point, Elcock was taken into custody and charged with possession of an assisted opening knife within the city limits of Ocean City and for possessing a concealed dangerous weapon.
During a subsequent search after the arrest for the knife and the wooden club, the officer located metal knuckles in Elcock’s front right pants pocket. When informed the metal knuckles were also illegal, Elcock reportedly said “yeah, I know,” according to police reports.
Drug Arrest After Seatbelt Stop
OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested on various drug charges this week after a routine traffic stop for a seatbelt violation in Ocean City.
Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, an OCPD officer working in a plainclothes capacity in a covert vehicle observed a Mazda pick-up truck in the area of 94th Street with its front seat passenger not wearing a seatbelt. The vehicle was ultimately pulled over in the area of 142nd Street for the traffic violation. Another OCPD officer responded with his K-9 partner, who performed an exterior scan on the vehicle resulting in a positive alert for the presence of illegal drugs.
During a subsequent search, officers found a bag under the seat of the driver, identified as Erich Messer, 30, of Berlin. In the bag, officers located a hypodermic syringe and other pieces of paraphernalia including small Ziploc bags and pieces of blue wax paper bags containing a white powdery substance consistent with heroin.
In all, officers located two syringes, two spoons including a metal one with burns marks on the bottom and four metal pipes with burnt residue inside them. Three of the four pipes characterized as crack pipes that had wire mesh in one end commonly used to clog one end of the pipe to keep a rock of crack cocaine in place. During a search of Messer’s person, officers located a small portion of a pen tube in his pocket consistent with making a straw in order to snort controlled dangerous substances. Messer was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and cocaine and possession of various items of paraphernalia.
Charged Despite Nap Excuse
OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested for breaking and entering this week after being found sleeping in the crawl space of a residence in the area of 6th Street.
Around 3:30 p.m. last Saturday, OCPD officers patrolling in the downtown area observed a man, later identified as Jeffrey Taylor, 53, of Ocean City, disappear behind a residence on 6th Street and St. Louis Ave. The officers responded to the area and did not see the suspect, but located an uncovered opening to a crawl space under the house. As one of the officers was walking by the residence, he peered through another opening to the underneath of the building and observed several beer cans strewn about.
The officers walked toward the crawl space and could observe the shoes of an individual underneath the building with the wooden covering for the crawl space opening lying nearby. The officers then observed Taylor sleeping just inside the crawl space. They identified themselves as police officers and asked Taylor to come out of the crawl space.
The officers questioned Taylor, who told them he was just looking for a place to take a nap, according to police reports. Taylor told police he had a place to stay, but was recently forced to leave it. When asked if he had permission to sleep under the residence, Taylor told police he did not.
Taylor was placed under arrest for fourth-degree burglary. The officer observed in his report nothing appeared to have been missing or out of place in the crawl space except for the displaced wooden covering, which appeared to be its only point of entry. OCPD officer later spoke with the property owners who confirmed they did not know Taylor nor did he have permission to be under the residence.
Probation For Officer After Firing Shot In Air
SALISBURY — A Maryland Correctional Services officer, arrested in Salisbury in October after displaying a badge and ultimately firing a shot from a handgun into the air, was found guilty this week of reckless endangerment and was sentenced to two years, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.
Around 2:15 a.m. last Oct. 22, Salisbury Police officers responded to the America’s Best Value Inn on N. Salisbury Blvd. for a report of an allegedly intoxicated male displaying a police badge and handgun. The investigation revealed the suspect had left the hotel area and was last seen walking southbound on Route 13.
Officers located the suspect, later identified as Raymond Wesley Wills III, 39, of Hagerstown, near the intersection of Route 13 and Naylor Mill Rd. The responding officers observed Wills point the handgun in an upward direction and fire a single shot. Wills then walked toward the nearby Motel 6 and attempted to enter the lodging establishment.
When Salisbury Police took Wills into custody, he identified himself as a police officer. The officers recovered the handgun and the shell casing as evidence. Wills was charged with reckless endangerment, endangering public safety and discharging a firearm within city limits. At the time he was taken into custody, Wills was in possession of a badge and credentials identifying him as a sworn police officer employed by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
On Monday, Wills entered an Alford plea to reckless endangerment. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Wills was sentenced to two years, all of which was suspended. He was then placed on two years of supervised probation.
OCPD Officers Honored
OCEAN CITY — Two Ocean City Police Department officers last week were honored with Officer of the Year awards from different service organizations in the resort area.
Last Monday, OCPD Pfc. Nathan Kutz received the Officer of the Year award from the American Legion Post 166 in Ocean City. Two days later, Pfc. Aaron Morgan received the Officer of the Year from the Knights of Columbus. Both officers are members of the OCPD’s Traffic Safety Unit and each was recently a finalist in the Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year voting earlier this year.
“Pfc. Kutz and Pfc. Morgan are both excellent members of the Traffic Safety Unit and are very deserving of these awards,” said OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro. “They are both exemplary officers and are dedicated to the safety of our roadways.”
Kutz began his career with the OCPD as a seasonal officer in 2009 and was hired as a full-time officer in 2012. He joined the Traffic Safety Unit shortly thereafter and has gone through advanced training in traffic crash and impaired driver investigations. Kutz is recognized by the state of Maryland as a Smooth Operator and has earned numerous awards from MADD. He was promoted to Pfc. in January.
Morgan joined the OCPD as a full-time officer in 2006 and is highly trained in traffic safety. He has been a MADD DUI Award recipient in each of the last six years, a state of Maryland DUI award recipient for five consecutive years and is a three-time Smooth Operator award winner. Morgan was one of only two officers in Maryland to receive the ACE award, which is given to officers that have arrested at least 100 impaired drivers in one year.