Jet Ski Thieves Sought

WEST OCEAN CITY — Worcester County detectives this week are seeking the public’s help with the investigation of the theft of two jet skis and a trailer from a property in West Ocean City in late January.

According to police reports, sometime between the evening hours of Jan. 27 and the morning hours of Jan. 31, an unknown suspect or suspects entered a property on Harbor Rd. in West Ocean City and stole two jet skis and a trailer. The jet skis were secured on the trailer and wrapped in blue shrink-wrap for the winter season. The suspect or suspects cut a chain and lock and drove away towing the trailer with the skis. The trailer was not displaying any registration plate at the time of the thefts.

One of the jet skis is described as a 2010 Yamaha FXHO with a black hull and tan trim and a tan seat. The other is described as a 2007 Kawasaki JT1500 with a white hull, blue top and silver seat. The trailer was a 2010 Load Rite double jet ski trailer. Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact Cpl. J. Johnson of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation at 410-352-3476.

Two DUIs In About Six Hours

BERLIN — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence twice within a five-hour period last weekend after Maryland State Police troopers observed him getting back in his vehicle early in the morning after his initial arrest.

Around 1 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers arrested Daniel B. Fitchett, Jr., 34, of Spring Grove, Pa., on suspicion of drunk driving on westbound Route 90 near Route 589. Fitchett was processed and later released. Around 6 a.m. on Saturday, Fitchett called the MSP Berlin barrack in an attempt to locate his vehicle.

According to an MSP press release, Fitchett was told several times he was prohibited from driving in the state of Maryland for 12 hours following his arrest earlier in the morning, meaning he was not supposed to drive until at least 1 p.m. on Saturday. Fitchett told state troopers he was only trying to find his vehicle, which was located somewhere on Route 90 and that he had a friend who was going to drive the vehicle.

A short time later, Fitchett called the Ocean Pines Police and asked that department about the location of his vehicle. Fitchett was instructed to go home and come back for his vehicle later in the day. He was also warned by Ocean Pines Police not to drive for at least 12 hours following his initial arrest.

Around 6:30 a.m., Fitchett again called the State Police Berlin barrack inquiring about the location of his vehicle. He told police he would not drive, but that he wanted to get his vehicle back. After that call, MSP troopers responded to the area along Route 90 where Fitchett’s vehicle was located. MSP troopers observed a white male walking along the shoulder of the road toward the vehicle. The observed the man, later identified as Fitchett enter the vehicle and drive off down Route 90.

A traffic stop was conducted in the area of Route 589 and Manklin Creek Rd. and the driver was identified as Fitchett, who was the lone occupant in the vehicle. Based on the earlier incident, Fitchett was arrested again and charged a second time with DUI for driving within a 12-hour period of his initial arrest. He was taken to the Berlin barrack for processing and submitted to a breath-alcohol test, which exceeded the .08 limit. He was later released after facing a battery of new charges.

Plastic Waterfowl Swiped

WEST OCEAN CITY — Maryland State Police troopers this week are investigating the theft of several plastic Canadian Geese from the yard of a residence in the Oyster Harbor community in West Ocean City last weekend.

Around 11:25 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence on Whisper Trace Drive in Oyster Harbor to investigate the theft of five plastic Canadian Geese. The investigation revealed sometime during the early morning hours last Saturday, a suspect or suspects entered the front yard of the residence and stole the lawn ornaments.

Anyone with information about the crimes is urged to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Public’s Help Sought
In Pharmacy Break-In

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Police this week are seeking the public’s help for information about a break-in at a downtown pharmacy in late December or early January.

Sometime between Dec. 31 and Jan. 3, an unknown suspect or suspect’s gained entry to Bailey’s Pharmacy on 8th Street and Baltimore Ave. by removing a rear air conditioner and prying open a door. Once inside, the suspect or suspects stole prescription medicines and all of the surveillance equipment in the pharmacy.

The Ocean City Police Department and Crime Stoppers are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible for the pharmacy break-in. The cash reward is being donated by Purdue Pharma through RxPatrol, a collaborative effort between the industry, pharmacists and law enforcement agencies to investigate pharmacy burglaries.

Anyone with information regarding the Bailey’s Pharmacy break-in is urged to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 888-479-8477, or the OCPD at 410-520-5395.

Suspended Sentence In
Child Sex Offense Case  

SNOW HILL — A Baltimore man arrested last April after Ocean City Police were able to connect him to alleged child sex crimes in the resort dating back to 2008 pleaded guilty this week in Worcester County Circuit Court to a third-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all of which was suspended in favor a lengthy probation period.

Last April, the OCPD concluded a month-long child sex offense investigation stemming from a referral from the Worcester County Department of Social Services (WCDSS). Detectives, working in conjunction with the WCDSS, concluded during the spring of 2008, the suspect, identified as James Sean Bennett, 42, of Baltimore, came to Ocean City with a 15-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.

While staying at a hotel, Bennett allegedly provided the female victim with numerous alcoholic beverages. While in Ocean City, the female victim was sexually assaulted. During the investigation, OCPD detectives learned Bennett had recently been indicted by a Baltimore County grand jury for an unrelated case involving multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor and attempted second-degree rape involving an unrelated female.

On Monday, Bennett pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all of which was then suspended. Bennett was then placed on probation for five years.

Alleged Dealers Busted

WEST OCEAN CITY — Two Berlin residents were arrested on drug distribution charges last week after selling a large amount of oxycodone to an undercover detective.

On Jan. 31. members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement team, assisted by the Ocean City and Ocean Pines Police Departments, made contact with two suspects, identified as Mark Erbe, 52, and Angel Chang, 31, both of Berlin, in the West Ocean City area. Erbe and Chang sold a large amount of oxycodone to the detectives, according to police reports.

Detectives approached Erbe and Chang, who were sitting in their vehicle, in an attempt to arrest them for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Erbe, who was driving the vehicle, attempted to pull away and flee the area, but was blocked in by other responding officers and taken into custody.

Erbe was charged with possession and distribution of oxycodone, conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and failure to appear bench warrant.

Chang was charged with possession of cocaine, possession and distribution of oxycodone and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Erbe is being held on a $25,000 bond, while Chang was released after posting a $12,500 bond.

Deadly Weapon At School

BERLIN — A Berlin man was arrested on a weapons charge after allegedly being found with a knife at Stephen Decatur High School last week.

Shortly before noon last Wednesday, Berlin Police responded to Stephen Decatur High School for a reported known suspect wanted on a violation of probation warrant on school premises. Berlin Police made contact with the suspect, identified as Ventrel M. Moore, Jr., 18, of Berlin, and placed him under arrest for the VOP warrant.

During a search incident to the arrest, a folding knife with a three inch-plus blade was found in Moore’s pants pocket. Moore was charged with possession of a deadly weapon on school property. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $5,000 bond for the VOP warrant and a $2,500 bond for the weapon possession.

Stiff Sentence For Dealer

SNOW HILL — One of two local men arrested on multiple drug charges in October after Berlin Police observed them hanging around an apartment complex pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, five of which was then suspended.

Around 4:40 p.m. on Oct. 1, Berlin Police responded to the Bay Terrace Apartments to investigate a reported drug distribution complaint. While on the scene, Berlin Police observed two suspects arrive in a gold Acura. The officers knew the passenger in the vehicle, Jerrell Lamont Harmon, 26, of Snow Hill, had been barred from the property.

Police approached Harmon and the driver, identified as Garry Bicille Waples, 54, of Berlin, and placed Harmon under arrest for trespassing. During the arrest, a Worcester County Sheriff’s K-9 unit arrived and conducted a scan of the vehicle, resulting in a positive alert for the presence of controlled dangerous substances.

A search of the vehicle turned up three varieties of oxycodone pills, clonazepam pills, crack cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and paraphernalia. Waples and Harmon were both charged with multiple counts of possession and distribution. Last week in Circuit Court, Harmon pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 15 year in jail, five of which was suspended, resulting in a net sentence of 10 years. In December, Waples had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Jail Time for Assault

SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man arrested last June after a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy observed him punching a female victim in the face was found guilty this week in Circuit Court of second-degree assault and disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, all but 15 of which were then suspended.

On June 19, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to cottages on Route 707 in West Ocean City for a reported disorderly subject. Upon arrival, deputies observed a man later identified as Todd Caldwell Thomas, 43, of Berlin, striking a female in the facial area with his fists.

Thomas was taken into custody after a brief struggle and was charged with second-degree assault. This week in Circuit Court, Thomas was found guilty of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 45 of which were then suspended. He was also found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to 30 days, all of which was suspended, netting him a total of 15 days.

Hard Time for TV Theft

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man arrested last September on burglary and other charges after breaking into an apartment and stealing a flat-screen television pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 year in jail, all but four of which was suspended.

Around 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, Ocean City Police were in the area of 76th Street when they observed a suspect, later identified as Mark Allen Meekins, Jr., 29, of Ocean City, break into an apartment and come out with a 42-inch flat screen television. Meekins was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and theft over $1,000 to $10,000.

During the arrest, it was learned Meekins was wanted in Delaware for burglary and he was held on a fugitive warrant. This week in Circuit Court, Meekins pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, 11 of which were then suspended. Meekins was given credit for time served and placed on probation for three years upon his release.

Berlin Break-In Probed

BERLIN — Maryland State Police this week are investigating a break-in at a residence on Harrison Rd. sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence on Harrison Rd. in Berlin to investigate a burglary. The investigation revealed an unknown suspect or suspects had gained entry to the residence sometime between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.