OCEAN CITY – A New Jersey man arrested in June for breaking in to the same car wash business in Ocean City as many as eight times dating back to 2007 was found guilty this week in District Court of felony theft scheme and was sentenced to three years in jail.
Joseph Edward Walthour, 40, of Willingboro, N.J., appeared in District Court in Ocean City on Tuesday to face 28 serious charges ranging from theft and burglary to malicious destruction of property. Walthour was found guilty of felony theft scheme over $500 and was sentenced to three years in jail.
Walthour was finally nabbed on June 5 after an alert citizen reported a suspicious man hanging around the Oasis Car Wash at 72nd Street around 3:40 a.m. Shortly after that report, a second caller contacted police stating he saw a suspicious man using a crowbar in an attempt to break into the cash terminal at the Oasis Car Wash.
OCPD officers responded to the area and observed a male matching the description provided by one of the callers near one of the car wash bays. When the suspect, later identified as Walthour, saw the police officers, he fled on foot and a short chase ensued. Walthour was taken into custody a short time later.
During an on-scene investigation, police recovered a crowbar and a pair of pliers that allegedly fell out of Walthour’s pocket while he was being taken into custody. The witnesses who reported the attempted break-ins were brought over and positively identified Walthour as the man they had seen.
During the investigation, Walthour admitted to police he was attempting to break into the car wash cash terminals. Police determined the manner in which Walthour had attempted to break into the cash terminals last Sunday was consistent with how the business had been burglarized in the past.
The investigation concluded Walthour had been involved in at least eight thefts from the cash terminal at the Oasis Car Wash dating back to June 2007. Walthour was charged initially with over 32 criminal counts including felony theft, felony theft scheme, burglary and malicious destruction of property.
This week in District Court, Walthour pleaded guilty to one county of felony theft scheme over $500 and was sentenced to three years in jail. Walthour was also held without bond relating to out-of-state warrants from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.