Arrest Made In Church Burglary

Social Issues & Government

OCEAN CITY — A local man, already serving a three-year stint for burglarizing a downtown motel, was charged again last week after Ocean City Police were able to connect him to a break-in at an uptown church last June.

Last June 26, Ocean City Police responded to the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on 101st Street for a reported burglary that had already occurred. OCPD officers met with the church’s office manager, who reported entry had been gained through a window on the church’s south side. Officers observed the window had been tampered with and its screen was lying on the ground.

The church manager directed the officers to the parish office and pointed out the door lock had been tampered with and the glass window in the door had been shattered. The church manager told police around $14 had been stolen from a petty cash drawer in the office, but there didn’t appear to be anything else missing. The value of damage to the broken glass door was estimated at $75.

The area where the suspect had gained entry into the church and office was processed by forensic officers for latent fingerprints and the recovered prints were sent to the Maryland State Police lab for analysis. Last Nov. 18, OCPD Forensics were notified by the MSP lab the fingerprints collected at the church belonged to Donovan Smith, 47, of Ocean City.

Smith was already serving time at ECI for the burglary of a downtown Ocean City motel office in November 2013. In December, an OCPD detective interviewed Smith, during which he admitted that is was possible he could have committed the church break-in while he was “blacked out drunk,” but he wasn’t certain because he couldn’t remember. Smith told police he had been to the church on previous occasions for food and drinks they supply on certain days to the needy. Based on the fingerprint evidence and the interview, OCPD Detective last week formally filed for new burglary charges against Smith.

Last April, Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to eight years, all but three of which were suspended.

Around 10 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2013, Ocean City Police responded to the area of Baltimore Ave. and 1st Street for a reported burglary. The victim told police a suspect had entered his room along with a nearby office space and another room and had stolen numerous items.

During the investigation, Ocean City Police Communications broadcast a description of the suspect. Shortly after the broadcast, the suspect, who was later identified Smith was spotted in West Ocean City. Police responded to the area and arrested Smith without incident.


Citizen Tip Leads To Drug Arrest

BERLIN — A Pittsville man was arrested on impaired driving and drug possession charges this week after a citizen tip alerted Maryland State Police to his alleged erratic driving on Route 50.

Around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, a citizen reported to the Maryland State Police Berlin barrack that a vehicle was swerving from lane to lane along Route 50. A short time later, MSP troopers located the vehicle and made contact with the driver, identified as Justin Michael Sauve, 24, of Pittsville.

A background check revealed Sauve’s driver’s license was suspended and revoked. According to police reports, he also exhibited signs of impairment. A subsequent probable cause search revealed several items including trace amounts of heroin and marijuana along with several hypodermic needles. Sauve failed standardized field sobriety tests and was arrested for driving while impaired, driving while suspended and revoked and various CDS charges.


DUI Triggers Probation Violation

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on drunk-driving charges last week, violating the terms of his probation for a manslaughter conviction in 2012 for his role in the death of a West Ocean City bar owner.

Last Tuesday, an OCPD officer on patrol in the area of 120th Street observed a vehicle in convenience store parking lot with an individual later identified as Cyle Walker, 29, of Ocean City, in the driver’s seat. The officer ran a check on the vehicle and learned a prior operator was wanted on an active arrest warrant in Wicomico County. The officer approached Walker and determined he was not the wanted individual.

However, the officer did detect a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on Walker’s breath and person. Walker allegedly admitted consuming alcohol prior to his interaction with the police, but told the officer he was waiting for a cab. According to police reports, the officer told Walker on multiple occasions not to drive.

About a half an hour later, the officer observed Walker pull out of the convenience store parking lot and onto Coastal Highway. Walker was then pulled over and was subjected to a battery of field sobriety tests, which he did not pass to the officer’s satisfaction. Walker was then arrested and charged with driving while impaired.

The rather routine DUI arrest this week triggered a violation of the terms of Walker’s probation following a conviction on manslaughter and other charges for his role in the death of former 707 Sports Bar and Grill owner Carey Flynn in 2011. In October of 2012, Walker was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to three years, all but one year of which was suspended, and he was given credit for 90 days spent in jail awaiting trial. In addition, Walker was placed on supervised probation for three years following his release.

Last week’s DUI arrest reopened the manslaughter case and could result in additional jail time including all or a portion of his original sentence in the manslaughter case. A violation of probation hearing has been set for June 5.

On Oct. 6, 2011, Walker and Flynn got into a verbal argument when the bar owner saw the defendant urinating on the side of his building around closing time. The verbal argument escalated into a deadly physical altercation.


Stiff Sentence For Cocaine Dealer

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City woman, arrested on drug distribution charges last October following a raid on a residence, was found guilty this week of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to six years, all but 18 months of which was then suspended.

During the month of October last year, the Ocean City Narcotics Unit initiated a drug investigation on a residence in the ocean block of 41st Street. The investigation, which was initiated after a citizen tip was received reporting suspected drug activity at the residence, determined both Shakeim Fitzgerald Williams, 38, and Tiffanie Amanda Sunderland, 22, were both living in the residence.

Around 12:20 a.m. on Halloween, the Ocean City Police Quick Response Team executed a search-and-seizure warrant at the residence and located Williams and Sunderland inside. Detectives also located around one ounce of cocaine with a street value of about $1,000, one ounce of heroin with a street value of $5,000 and a felony amount of marijuana.

Also located was around $500 in cash and hundreds of items commonly used to package and sell controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Williams and Sunderland were arrested at the residence without incident. They have each been charged with three counts of possession with intent to distribute CDS and possession of CDS.

This week, Sunderland entered an Alford plea to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. In an Alford plea, a suspect does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Sunderland was sentenced to six year, all but 18 months of which were suspended. She was also placed on probation for three years and fined $500.


Burglarly, Theft Arrests

BERLIN — Three area residents were arrested on burglary and theft charges last week after allegedly breaking into a residence that had been involved in a fire a week earlier. Around 2:15 a.m. last Friday, Berlin Police were dispatched to a reported burglary in progress at a residence on Bay Street. Early last Friday morning, area residents observed a suspect … Continue reading

DUI Stop Leads To Weapons Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested for possessing multiple dangerous and deadly weapons early Wednesday morning after a routine drunk-driving traffic stop in north Ocean City. Around 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday, an OCPD officer was on patrol in the area of 128th Street and Assawoman Drive and observed a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction fail to stop … Continue reading

Major Dealer Busted

WEST OCEAN CITY- Multiple law enforcement agencies last week teamed up on the arrest of an alleged significant heroin dealer operating in Worcester and lower Delaware at a parking lot in West Ocean City. Last week, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team initiated a joint heroin distribution investigation with the Delaware State Police, the Sussex Drug Unit and the Ocean … Continue reading

Sign Thieves Sought

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects who stole multiple signs belonging to the resort from the downtown area back on Feb. 8. Surveillance footage of the area of Chicago Ave. between 3rd and 4th streets shows around 10:20 p.m. on Feb. 8, two unknown individuals exited their vehicle and … Continue reading

Robber Sentenced

SNOW HILL — The third of three suspects arrested in September on strong-arm robbery and other charges after jumping a store employee on the side of Route 50 in West Ocean City was sentenced to seven years in jail, all but six months of which was then suspended. Around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2014, Maryland State Police received a … Continue reading

14 Days For Brick Attack

SNOW HILL — A Bishopville man, arrested last June after striking another man in the head with a brick, was found guilty last week of second-degree assault and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but 14 days of which were suspended. Last June 18, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of Hotel Rd. in Bishopville … Continue reading