OC Bar Employees Foil Jewelry Heist

OCEAN CITY – Downtown bar employees last weekend helped nab the suspect in a Boardwalk jewelry store break-in during which windows were smashed and thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen.

Around 1:20 a.m. on Jan. 2, Ocean City police responded to the Somerset South Jewelry store on the south end of the Boardwalk in reference to an intrusion alarm. When officers arrived, they discovered the front window of the jewelry store had been completely smashed out and several of the store’s jewelry display cases had been knocked over.

Officers were able to contact the store manager, who arrived on the scene a short time later. While waiting for the store manager, resort police officers were advised a male suspect was being detained nearby on Wicomico Street by employees of the Cork Bar. The suspect, later identified as Donald Anthony Collins, 51, of Ocean City, was in possession of a large amount of jewelry along with a portable display box.

Officers responded to Wicomico Street and determined the jewelry found on Collins was the same merchandise reported stolen from Somerset South Jewelers.

The investigation revealed Collins had been in the Cork Bar earlier in the evening and appeared to be heavily intoxicated, according to police reports. Witnesses said Collins left the bar and returned later attempting to sell the stolen jewelry, but was told to leave the Cork Bar.

A short time later at closing time, Cork Bar employees observed Collins on the street near a soda machine with what appeared to be several small jewelry displays. At that point, Cork Bar employees said they believed the jewelry may have been stolen and detained Collins while they called police. All this occurred around the same time police officers were investigating the break-in at the jewelry store nearby.

Collins was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree burglary, one count of fourth-degree burglary, one count of felony theft from $10,000 to $100,000, one count of felony theft valued at $1,000 to $10,000, along with three counts of malicious destruction of property. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $50,000 bond before being transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

In a release this week, the OCPD acknowledged the assistance of citizens and employees at the Cork Bar during the incident.

“Their diligent efforts and willingness to get involved demonstrates the type of community policing partnership between citizens and the police, which continues to make Ocean City a safe and enjoyable place for all,” the statement reads.