OCPD First In State To ID Suspect With Palm Print

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Police recorded a milestone recently, becoming the first law enforcement agency in the state to use the new automated palm print database to identify a suspect in an unsolved burglary in the resort last October.

On Oct. 16, 2008, Ocean City Police responded to the Coastal Inn on 26th Street for a reported commercial burglary. Once on the scene, OCPD detectives began to interview victims and determine what had been reported stolen. OCPD Forensic Services Unit Sgt. Mark Paddack began collecting evidence related to the burglary including several finger and palm prints.

Three of the finger and palm prints were deemed suitable for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) entry. The investigation continued as resort detectives continued to search for the perpetrator until January, when a Maryland State Police forensic scientist Stephen Weathers of the Latent Print Unit began to analyze a palm print recovered by Paddack at the Coastal Inn burglary scene in October.

Weathers was able to use the partial print to find a suspect in the case, later identified as Shawn H. Quick, 36, of Centerville. Quick is incarcerated in the Talbot County Detention Center in Easton, serving 18 months of a two-year sentence on a fourth-degree burglary charge in that county related to the Mercantile Eastern Shore Bank. In addition to his jail sentence, Quick was required to pay nearly $1,600 in restitution to the bank.

Based on the evidence collected from the crime scene at the Coastal Inn, along with the positive latent palm print identification provided by the state police forensics unit, Ocean City Police this week charged Quick with the October burglary. He has been charged with second- and fourth-degree burglary, felony theft over $500 and malicious destruction of property.

Quick’s identification was the first case in Maryland history to get a “hit” on an automated cold search of palm prints. The automated palm print database is new for Maryland and was instituted in October 2008 for the first time. The palm print identification database was implemented by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and is now housed and maintained by the Maryland State Police latent print unit.