SNOW HILL – A Stockton man arrested last year as a co-conspirator in a faked armed robbery of a downtown Ocean City hotel last August pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to felony theft and was sentenced to two years in jail, bringing closure to the bizarre case that also included a high speed chase and the dragging of a Maryland State Police trooper
George M. Taylor, 24, appeared in Worcester County Circuit Court on Tuesday to face several charges related to a faked armed robbery of the Stowaway Grand Hotel in Ocean City last August during which he conspired with his former girlfriend, later identified as Brady Ashley Greer, 21, of Columbia, Md., to steal over $49,000 from the establishment. Taylor pleaded guilty to felony theft over $500 and was sentenced to two years in jail.
Greer was earlier found guilty of theft plus $500 value, conspiracy to commit theft plus $500 and false statement to an officer and was sentenced in June to five years in jail with all but one year suspended. She was also ordered to pay $49,422 in restitution to the Stowaway Grand. Greer has since filed an appeal in Worcester County Circuit Court and a tentative re-trial date has been set for November.
The bizarre case began around 5 a.m. last Aug. 6 when OCPD detectives responded to the Stowaway Grand on 21st Street for a reported armed robbery. Upon arrival, detectives interviewed the desk clerk and night auditor, identified as Greer, who told them a masked man armed with a gun had entered the hotel, forced her to open a safe and duct-taped her to a chair before fleeing with tens of thousands of dollars.
OCPD detectives listened attentively to Greer’s story while forming their own opinions about what had happened that morning. Taylor was a person of interest in the robbery from the beginning when Case and Jones first questioned Greer, the alleged victim-turned mastermind.
Surveillance tapes from the hotel showed no evidence of what Greer described, including the entry of a masked man whom she could not begin to identify or even say with any surety whether he was white, black or Hispanic.
What the surveillance tapes did show, however, was Greer talking on her cell phone for about 45 minutes during the time just prior to the alleged armed robbery. When questioned her about the call, Greer told the detectives she had been talking to her boyfriend, Taylor, who was somewhere in Virginia on his way back from Florida. However, the detectives, using various techniques, were able to determine Taylor had been in several places around Worcester County just prior to the reported robbery.
Detectives at the time did not have anything other than circumstantial evidence to connect Taylor, or Greer for that matter, to the faked armed robbery at the hotel. They got their first big break in the case last October when Taylor was arrested after a wild pursuit and brief stand-off during which a Maryland State Police trooper was dragged by the suspect’s vehicle before shooting out a tire and freeing himself.
Upon Taylor’s arrest after the chase and brief standoff, OCPD detectives got their shot at Taylor, who admitted it was Greer who planned and arranged the phony armed robbery.
In the phase of his case related to the chase and stand-off last October, Taylor pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to six years in jail with all but six months suspended. He also pleaded guilty to carrying a handgun on his person and was sentenced to two years for that charge, all of which was suspended, resulting in a net six months at the time. With his guilty plea on theft charges related to the Stowaway robbery this week, Taylor was sentenced to two years in jail.