OCEAN CITY – Two Ocean City residents were arrested on dozens of counts of theft, malicious destruction of property and other charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a vehicle owned by an off-duty Maryland State Police trooper at an uptown hotel.
Around 2:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were in the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street investigating a reported assault when an individual ran into the lobby and reported there was a man on the street holding down two kids that were attempting to break into his car. The officers followed the witness to 91st Street where they saw a man later identified as an off-duty Maryland State Police trooper holding two individuals, a male and a female, next to a full-size pick-up truck with its doors open.
The victim told OCPD officers he caught the two suspects, identified as Roger Rinker, Jr., 27, and Crystal Tucker, 27, breaking into his truck. Tucker told police her aunt worked in the hotel and that her uncle was in town and that she thought the truck belonged to him and she was “going to [expletive deleted] with him.”
Parked directly in front of the victim’s truck was a silver passenger car determined to belong to Rinker. Inside the car was a Maryland State Police jacket, which was clearly visible through the windshield of the vehicle. The victim told OCPD officers he was an MSP trooper and that the jacket belonged to him.
At that point, Rinker and Tucker were arrested. A search of Tucker’s person turned up a folding knife, several lighters and a bottle of Advil, which the trooper identified as property taken from his truck. A search of Rinker turned up a flashlight that also belonged to the trooper.
The trooper explained he was staying in the hotel with his wife when he went out on the balcony facing 91st Street and observed the silver sedan pull up near his truck. The victim said he observed two suspects walking furtively between the two vehicles, and when he saw the interior light of his truck come on, he ran down to his vehicle. When he arrived at his vehicle, the trooper saw two individuals, later identified as Rinker and Tucker, sitting inside.
The trooper told police he grabbed the two individuals and pulled them from the truck while asking a bystander to run and get the police. Also found on Tucker’s person was a screwdriver, which she told police the couple used to pry away the rubber seal around the window to gain entry into the vehicle. A search of Rinker’s vehicle revealed a hammer, adjustable wrench, walkie-talkie radios tuned to the same channel, bolt cutters, a chisel-like rock hammer and a metal mallet, all of which are consistent with tools used to break into vehicles, according to the police report.
Tucker agreed to speak with police and admitted the pair had come to the decision to break into vehicles to find objects of value that could be sold for money, which they needed to pay various court fines. Tucker told police the couple had first gone to the parking lot at Seacrets to find vehicles to break into and drove with the detective to the nightclub to point out some of the vehicles they had tampered with including a soft-top Jeep Wrangler.
When finished at Seacrets, Rinker and Tucker allegedly went to the Holiday Inn on 66th Street where they allegedly broke into three more vehicles, stealing various items. After the Holiday Inn, the couple went to the Princess Royale where they broke into three more vehicles.
Rinker and Tucker were charged with 27 counts each, ranging from theft and theft conspiracy to malicious destruction of property to rogue and vagabond.