Friday, January 18 – Man Sentenced For Stealing From Soldier

OCEAN CITY – In District Court this week, a Gaithersburg, Md. man was sentenced to over four years in jail after being arrested last month for stealing a car and other property from a female soldier in Iraq and driving while under the influence.

Thomas Travis Taylor, 43, pleaded guilty to unauthorized removal of property and driving while under the influence, blaming his actions on mental problems and alcohol, and claiming that the stolen car had been leant to him.

On Dec. 6, Ocean City Police received several complaints from motel clerks that a suspicious man was entering the properties and asking for a free room. The last call came from the Hilton on 32nd Street and when police arrived they obtained the registration number of the man’s vehicle, which was written down by the desk clerk. Police then found the vehicle, a 2003 Mitsubishi Gallant, in the hotel parking lot.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the driver, Taylor, attempted to flee the area when OCPD Ofc. Mark Wolinsky yelled for Taylor to stop the car, which he did. Taylor was reported to be extremely intoxicated and uncooperative with police. After running a computer check on both Taylor and the vehicle, it was determined that the suspect’s driver’s license was revoked and the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Washington, D.C. area.

Shortly after Taylor’s arrest, the car owner’s boyfriend was contacted, and police were informed that his girlfriend was in the military serving in Iraq. The victim’s boyfriend also told police that their home in the Washington D.C. area had recently been burglarized and the suspect had stolen the keys to the car, which was also taken.

This week in District Court, Taylor pleaded guilty, noting that he did not remember much about that night. According to Taylor, he had stopped taking his anti-depressants and instead replaced them with alcohol on the night in question. After drinking heavily in Montgomery County, Taylor said he got the notion that leaving the area would improve his mood. “I got the allusion that a geography change would solve everything,” Taylor told the court.

Taylor maintained that he met the car owner in a bar and had been given permission to borrow the car.

Judge Daniel Mumford questioned the validity of Taylor’s story, noting Taylor’s extensive record, along with the victim’s statement, made the story less believable.

Taylor was sentenced to 60 days in jail for the DWI, with credit for 41 days time served. For the unauthorized removal of property charge, Taylor was given the maximum sentence, four years in jail, to be served after his DWI sentence.