Area Burglaries Lead To Stiff Prison Sentence

SNOW HILL — A Pittsville man, connected to several Ocean City burglaries last fall after resort police were able to track his whereabouts using a signal transmitted from an I-Pad stolen from his most recent break-in, was found guilty this week on several charges and was sentenced to a combined 25 years in prison.

During the month of August, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) investigated several reported burglaries that had occurred on the ocean side of the mid-town area. In the course of the investigation, resort police were able to recover a phone number belonging to the possible suspect, later identified as William Troy Stodghill, 48, of Pittsville, who was already wanted for failure to appear for trial in Circuit Court for an unrelated burglary case.

On Sept. 7, OCPD patrol officers responded to a reported burglary in the area of 71st Street. During the investigation, patrol officers were able to track an I-Pad stolen from the victim using a cellular data signal being transmitted by the electronic device. Using the cellular signal, police were able to locate Stodghill in West Ocean City where he was found still in possession of the stolen I-Pad.

Stodghill was arrested in connection with the 71st Street burglary and on the outstanding warrant for failing to appear for trial for an unrelated burglary arrest dating back to last November. With Stodghill back in custody, resort police were able to obtain a search and seizure warrant for the suspect’s Pittsville home.

With the assistance of the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office, OCPD detectives executed the search and seizure warrant at Stodghill’s home in Pittsville and recovered multiple pieces of evidence linking the suspect to at least four and as many as six additional residential burglaries in Ocean City reported throughout the late summer months.

Stodghill appeared in Worcester County Circuit Court this week to face a total of 27 different charges spread over three separate cases and six break-ins in Ocean City over a period of a month beginning Aug. 8 and ending Sept. 7, 2011. The break-ins occurred practically every two days including Aug. 8, Aug. 10, Aug. 23, Sept. 2, Sept. 4 and Sept. 7.

Stodghill was found guilty of first-degree burglary for the Sept. 4 break-in and was sentenced to 10 years. He was also found guilty of first-degree burglary for the Sept. 7 break-in and was sentenced to an additional 15 years, netting a total of 25 years.