Burglary Suspect Convicted

SNOW HILL — One of two Berlin residents arrested last September for involvement in a two-state burglary spree pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to first-degree burglary and now awaits her fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Around 10 a.m. last Sept. 28, Selbyville Police stopped a Dodge Caravan on Polly Branch Rd. for a seatbelt violation. The Selbyville Police officers had been advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle after receiving information it had been involved in a burglary that had just occurred in Ocean Pines.

The Selbyville officers confirmed with law enforcement agencies in Maryland the Dodge Caravan was the same vehicle that had fled the scene of the burglary in Ocean Pines and held the occupants, identified as James Cloyd, 63, and Patricia Celmer, 25, both of Berlin, until officers from Ocean Pines and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived.

A search of the vehicle revealed several thousand dollars’ worth of stolen property, drug paraphernalia and 40 pills of a controlled dangerous substance. The stolen property has been linked to reported burglaries in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Long Neck, Del.

Cloyd and Celmer were both arrested and charged with six counts each of receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, possession of CDS, possession of paraphernalia, maintaining a vehicle for drug distribution and traffic violations. Last week in Worcester County Circuit Court, Celmer pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

The first-degree burglary conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. As a result of the plea, the remaining charges against Celmer were not prosecuted. Meanwhile, Cloyd is scheduled to appear for trial in Circuit Court on June 2.

Warrant Produces Pot Bust

OCEAN PINES — An Ocean Pines man was arrested on marijuana possession charges last weekend after Maryland State Police troopers went to his home to locate him for failing to appear in District Court for a separate case.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers went to a residence on Ocean Parkway in an effort to locate Wayne Lee Baker, Jr., 27, who failed to appear for trial in District Court. When troopers contacted Baker at his residence, they observed marijuana and paraphernalia in plain view.

Baker was arrested and charged with one count of possession of marijuana and three counts of possession of paraphernalia. He was taken before a District Court commissioner and released after posting a $1,000 bond.

High Speed Chase Yields Jail Time

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man, arrested on numerous traffic charges in September after leading police on a high-speed chase across Route 90 that ended on 54th Street, pleaded guilty last week in District Court to attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment and speeding and was sentenced to a year in jail, all but one month of which was then suspended.

Around 9:40 p.m. last Sept. 29, a Maryland State Police trooper attempted to stop a 2001 Ford Windstar minivan in the area of Bell Rd. and Route 50 for going 70 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. The vehicle, driven by Dajour Hakeem Waters, 18, of Salisbury, failed to stop and led police on a high-speed chase on Route 90 that reached speeds of 112 mph at one point.

The Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Ocean City Police assisted in the pursuit as the vehicle sped eastbound on Route 90 toward Ocean City. The pursuit entered Ocean City on southbound Coastal Highway before it ended at 54th Street after OCPD officers deployed stop-sticks, which deflated all four tires of the minivan.

A search of the vehicle turned up concealed deadly weapons. Waters, his adult passenger, identified a Orlando Thomas Bowen, 19, of Salisbury, and a female juvenile also from Salisbury were each charged with concealing a deadly weapon. Waters was also charged with 12 traffic violations stemming from the chase.

Last week in District Court, Waters pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment and speeding and was sentenced to a year in jail, all but one month of which was suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years and fined $1,030 combined. Bowen is scheduled to appear in court in June for a concealed deadly weapon charge, while the disposition of the case against the juvenile female in not known.

Mobile Home Fire

OCEAN CITY — A fire at a mobile home in Ocean City on Monday afternoon was quickly extinguished and the occupants were able to evacuate without injuries.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Monday, the Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to a reported residential fire on Oyster Lane. First-arriving units reported smoke showing from the crawl space area of the single-story mobile home. The fire was contained to the crawl space area, although smoke damage was reported throughout the mobile home.

The residence was occupied at the time of the fire, but all occupants were able to evacuate and no injuries were reported. The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

Chronic Trespasser Jailed

BERLIN — A Newark man is being held without bond this week after allegedly trespassing at a Berlin apartment complex from which he was barred back in 2006.

Last Thursday evening, Berlin Police responded to the Homes of Berlin I apartment complex on Flower Street for a complaint of individuals consuming alcoholic beverages on the premises. Officers arrived and first noted a vehicle with its sound amplification system that could be heard in excess of 50 feet away, a violation of the town’s noise ordinance.

In addition, officers observed individuals lingering in the area of a gazebo at the apartment complex with several open containers of alcoholic beverages. None of the individuals would claim ownership of the open containers. A Berlin Police officer also noted the presence of Tymir Johnson, 25, of Newark, on the premises.

The officer had prior knowledge Johnson had been barred from the property in 2006 and had been present during his arrest for trespassing at the apartment complex in 2007. Johnson was arrested again and charged with two counts of trespassing. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held without bail at the Worcester County Jail.

Credit Card Theft Alleged

SALISBURY — A Delmar woman was arrested on theft charges last week after allegedly using a stolen credit card at several locations throughout Salisbury.

Shortly after 9 p.m. last Sunday, Salisbury Police arrested Rodnisha Monique Mitchell, 22, of Delmar, on an outstanding warrant for a number of thefts that had occurred in March. In March, Salisbury Police learned a credit card had been stolen and used at various locations around Salisbury.

Officers investigated the thefts and were able to positively identify Mitchell as the alleged suspect. Mitchell has been charged with credit card theft, theft under $1,000 and 16 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Alleged Counterfeiter Busted

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on theft and counterfeiting charges this week after allegedly attempting to pass phony bills at a convenience store.

Around 12:40 p.m. on Monday, Salisbury Police responded to the Shore Stop convenience store on Mt. Hermon Rd. for a report of counterfeit currency. The officers met with store employees, who reported a suspect, later identified as Christopher Alan Powell, 22, of Salisbury, was attempting to use counterfeit currency to purchase goods from the store.

The currency was examined and determined to be a counterfeit $20 bill. Powell was located still in the store and was arrested. He has been charged with counterfeiting, issuing counterfeit currency, possession of counterfeit currency and attempted theft.

Accidental Berlin Fire

BERLIN — A fire at a Berlin apartment complex Tuesday afternoon has been listed as accidental and was caused by unattended cooking.

Around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department responded to a reported fire at the Reedy Cove apartment complex. First arriving units observed water extending from a second-floor unit. Firefighters quickly entered the unit and observed a smoke condition with a sprinkler activation.

Further investigation revealed there had been a fire on the stove, which caused two sprinkler heads in the kitchen area to activate. The sprinklers helped control the fire until Berlin firefighters arrived. Firefighters remained on the scene for about an hour assisting with smoke removal and the removal of water.

After the replacement of the two sprinkler heads that activated, all but two of the units affected were able to be reoccupied shortly after the fire. The fire was caused by unattended cooking and it has been listed as accidental. No injuries were reported.

SU Students Warned about Crime

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police last week issued a warning to university students living off campus after 2010 crime figures revealed a spike in the number of alcohol-related violations.

Salisbury Police last week released 2010 averages for violations such as excessive noise, underage possession of alcohol and open container. The statistics reveal the number of noise violations issued from April 15 to May 30 in 2010 came in at 17, which is up from the 13 reported in 2009, but down considerably from the 31 reported during the same period in 2008.

However, the number of underage possession of alcohol violations spiked up to 24 last year, from 18 in 2009 and 17 in 2008. Similarly, the number of open container violations increased to 15 in 2010 from 10 in 2009 and just four in 2008. All in all, the totals for the three categories came in at 56, up from the 41 reported in 2009.

Salisbury Police warned students the officers will be focusing on those violations and other quality of life violations for the remainder of the school year. Students are encouraged to be “good neighbors” by not being involved in those types of incidents.

Many of those types of violations expose students to fines and/or possible jail sentences. They also often result in court appearances in the summer that conflict with work and summer vacation schedules. The violations can also negatively impact future job opportunities and school-related internships and placements.

According to Salisbury Police, the above information was provided in an effort to educate the town’s student population and to work more closely with them to establish a partnership to provide and develop a positive and safe environment.

FOP Poker Run On Tap

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) will hold its third annual Poker Run on Saturday, May 14.

The proceeds of the event will benefit the “Home of the Brave” in Berlin, a respite home for veterans and their families returning from overseas. The Poker Run will ride more than 50 miles and make stops at five locations throughout the day. Registration will start at 10:30 a.m. on May 14 at the Public Safety Building in Ocean City. The cost is $20 per poker hand.

There is a block of rooms being held for participants of the event at the Grand Stowaway on 21st Street at $104 per night. Those wishing to take advantage of the special room rate should mention “OCFOPPOKER” when making the reservation. For reservations, call 410-289-6191. For more information about the event, call 410-726-2469.