Christmas Gift Thief Arrested

BERLIN – A local man was arrested on burglary and theft charges this week after breaking into a residence in the southern end of Worcester County and stealing thousands of dollars worth of wrapped Christmas presents.

On Tuesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a reported residential burglary on Critcher Rd. in Pocomoke. The investigation revealed a suspect or suspects had gained entry to the residence by prying open an exterior door and left the area after taking an estimated $43,000 in personal property. Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives were called to the scene, but no suspect was immediately identified.

On Wednesday, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a residence on Brantley Rd. in the same area for another residential burglary. The victim arrived at his residence and observed three unidentified men walking out of his house carrying his wrapped Christmas presents as well as other personal property.

While the victim was on the phone with police, the three suspects fled the area. MSP troopers, along with Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies and Pocomoke Police officers searched the area for the suspects and located one, identified as LeAnder Dynte Ward, 18. Two other suspects were not located.

WCBI detectives were able to connect Ward to both break-ins on Tuesday and Wednesday. He has been charged with first-degree burglary and theft from $10,000 to $100,000. Ward is being held in the Worcester County Jail on a $20,000 bond.