Two-State Crime Spree Starts In Resort

OCEAN CITY — A Laurel, Del. man was arrested on numerous charges last week after a two-state crime spree that began with a stolen vehicle in Ocean City, included a hit-and-run accident in West Ocean City and a car-jacking near Delmar before the suspect was found sleeping in a camper in a garage.

Shortly after 3 p.m. last Wednesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Wine Rack in West Ocean City for a reported hit-and-run accident in the parking lot. Troopers met with the witness, who said a vehicle had backed out of a parking space and collided with the passenger side of his vehicle before fleeing the scene.

The witness was able to get a tag number from the vehicle registered in Delaware and reported it to the state police. The Maryland State Police forwarded the tag identification to the Delaware state police, which, in turn made contact with the vehicle’s owner. The vehicle’s owner told police the car had been reported stolen in Ocean City earlier in the afternoon. Delaware Police were able to ascertain the vehicle had been stolen from a suspect identified as Mervin Scott Lemon, 29, of Laurel, Del., who was an inmate at the Sussex Correctional Institution who had walked away from a work release detail.

Around 5 p.m. on last Wednesday, a motorist called 911 to report the suspect silver Chevrolet Malibu driving erratically on Whitesville Rd. just east of Delmar. Delaware State Police issued an alert over the radio for law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for the vehicle stolen in Ocean City earlier in the day and involved in the hit-and-run accident in West Ocean City.

Around 6:15 p.m., troopers discovered the silver Chevy Malibu in a ditch alongside Whiteside Rd., but Lemon was nowhere to be found. Then, around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Delaware State Police troopers were sent to investigate an attempted carjacking on Pepperbox Rd. just east of Delmar. The victim told police a suspect, later identified as Lemon, had asked him for a ride after his car had allegedly broken down near the Bayshore Community Church near Millsboro.

The victim in that case told police he was driving on Pepperbox Rd. when Lemon allegedly ordered him to pull over. The victim told police Lemon said he had a gun and ordered the vehicle owner to get out. However, the victim was able to push Lemon from his vehicle and drive off before calling police. Again, Lemon was nowhere to be found.

Delaware Police got a break in the case early Thursday morning when a property owner found Lemon sleeping in a camper in his garage in Laurel, Del. According to police reports, the property owner returned to his home around midnight last Thursday and noticed the door to his home slightly ajar. The man did not immediately call police when he found nothing missing.

However, early the next morning, around 7:15 a.m., the property owner noticed his garage door had been forcibly opened. When the property owner investigated the break-in, he noticed a window of a camper in the garage was down and noticed Lemon sleeping inside. The resident closed the door and called police, who arrived a short time later and took Lemon back into custody without further incident.

Lemon faces numerous criminal and traffic charges in both Maryland and Delaware for his two-state spree that began with a stolen vehicle in Ocean City and ended when he was discovered sleeping in the Laurel camper.

As of mid-week, Lemon was being held at the Sussex Correctional Institution on a $72,000 bond.