Probable Cause Found In Armed Robbery Cases

OCEAN CITY – A Finksburg, Md. man implicated in a pair of
armed robberies in the resort in April appeared in District Court for a
preliminary hearing on Monday and had his cases forwarded to Circuit Court in
Snow Hill.

Matthew Balaz-Ogle, 16, of Finksburg, Md., was allegedly
the driver in the armed robbery of a 45-year-old female and two teenage girls
on the Boardwalk at 5th Street, and then was one of the armed
robbers in an incident a short time later at a motel parking lot on 30th
Street. Balaz-Ogle was charged with armed robbery in both cases and appeared in
District Court on Monday, where Judge Lloyd O. Whitehead found probable cause
in both to forward them to Circuit Court.

In the first incident, a juvenile approached a woman and
two teenage girls on the Boardwalk at 5th Street and asked for a
cigarette. When his request was denied, the suspect turned around and covered
his face with a mask and demanded money from the woman and two girls at

The woman refused, mocking the armed robber because she
had just seen his face before he covered it with a mask and there were many
other people in the area. The juvenile suspect threatened to stab the woman
before fleeing the scene and jumping in a car driven by Balaz-Ogle.

However, the pair wasn’t finished with their armed robbery
action for the night. A short time later, Balaz-Ogle and the juvenile from the
first robbery ran into a pair of teenage boys in a meeting arranged by a female
accomplice of the robbers. The female told the two soon-to-be victims to meet
her at the motel parking lot, but when they arrived, they were accosted by
Balaz-Ogle and the other juvenile, who were both wearing masks over their

The female later admitted she came to Ocean City with
Balaz-Ogle and the other juvenile and had lured the two victims to the motel
for the robbery. Balaz-Ogle held up one of the two victims at knifepoint,
stealing a gold chain, an IPod, a cell phone and a hat. The two suspects fled
toward the beach when one of the victim’s father’s arrived at the scene and
broke up the robbery, but not before they made off with the belongings of the
two victims.

Ocean City police officers were investigating the prior
incident back on the Boardwalk when they received a call about the armed
robbery at 30th Street by a pair matching the same description. They
were later apprehended on the beach not far from the second incident. While
questioning the suspects, resort police observed Balaz-Ogle attempting to bury
some of the loot stolen from the two teenage boys in the sand.