Beach Purse Thief Nabbed

Beach Purse Thief Nabbed
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OCEAN CITY — A Berlin woman was arrested on felony theft scheme and other charges last week after resort police were able to connect her to a series of purse thefts on the beach throughout the late summer and early fall.

During late September and early October, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) received several reports of theft of property from public beach areas south of 28th Street. During the investigation, OCPD officers noticed similarities in the various reports including a description of a possible suspect.

Around 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 5, OCPD officers responded to a reported theft of a purse on the beach at 16th Street. When officers arrived, they met with a victim who had her purse stolen from the beach the previous day along with an off-duty Hagerstown police officer. The previous victim had observed the suspect, later identified as Lindsey Marie Lopez, 23, of Berlin, attempting to steal a purse at 16th Street and the beach, and the off-duty officer had detained Lopez until OCPD officers arrived.

Officers recovered the stolen purse. Based on witness and victim statements as well as information obtained during the investigation, police were able to link Lopez to at least nine additional thefts that had occurred between mid-September and early October. Due to the cumulative value of the stolen property, Lopez was charged with felony theft scheme.

At the time of Lopez’s arrest, she was found in possession of a hypodermic syringe, which she admitted was illegal drug paraphernalia. Lopez was charged with felony theft scheme, nine counts of misdemeanor theft and possession of paraphernalia. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $10,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing and anyone who believes he or she might have been a victim is urged to contact OCPD Officer Moerschel at 410-520-5368.

Drug Bust In West OC

WEST OCEAN CITY — Two local men were arrested on numerous drug charges last week at a West Ocean City motel.

On Oct. 4, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team executed a search and seizure warrant at the Rambler Motel on Elm Street in West Ocean City after a heroin distribution investigation. The criminal enforcement team members along with an Ocean City Police Department Narcotics Unit made entry into a unit and located and seized numerous items including 164 individually wrapped bags of heroin, 25 tablets of Alprazolam, three grams of marijuana, various items of paraphernalia and over $700 in cash.

Arrested were Jake L. Docca, 25, of Ocean Pines, and Frank Wray King, 25, of Berlin. Each suspect was charged with possession of heroin, marijuana and Alprazolam, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin-large amount, and possession of paraphernalia.

The investigation was successful as a result of the collaborative efforts of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, the OCPD narcotics unit, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office patrol division and the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Local Injured in Scooter Collision

BERLIN — A Berlin man suffered a serious head injury last week when his scooter collided with another vehicle on Route 50 just east of Route 589.

Around 9:30 p.m. on October 6, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office investigated a personal injury collision on eastbound Route 50 just east of Route 589. The investigation revealed the operator of a scooter, identified as James McQuiggan of Berlin, drifted out of his travel lane and struck another vehicle. The collision caused McQuiggan to lose control of the scooter and he landed in the travel lanes of Route 50.

McQuiggan sustained a head injury and was airlifted to PRMC in Salisbury. Hospital staff later informed the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office that McQuiggan’s injuries were not life-threatening. McQuiggan was issued several citations as a result of the accident.

Alleged Burglar Acquitted

BERLIN — A Berlin man arrested on burglary and other charges in May after a trail of beer cans allegedly connected him to a break-in at a package goods store near Ocean Pines was acquitted of all charges last week in Circuit Court.

On May 4, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to an activated burglary alarm at the Barley Hops and Grapes convenience store on Route 589 near Ocean Pines. Upon arrival, deputies observed a window on the north side of the building was broken and also observed a case of Miller Lite in the parking lot.

Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives were called to the scene and a canvas of the area revealed a torn piece of a Miller Lite 30-pack case several yards from the store’s broken window. Officers continued to canvas the area for a suspect or suspects and discovered a trail of beer cans leading from the store in the direction of cottages nearby.

Detectives searched the area and discovered the stolen beer behind one of the cottages. The officers questioned the residents and identified the suspect as Robert Owen Ray, Jr., 28, of Berlin. When the officers arrived at the residence, Ray fled on foot. He was found a short time later in a relative’s house nearby hiding in a closet.

Ray was arrested and charged with second- and fourth-degree burglary, theft, malicious destruction of property and possession of marijuana. In Circuit Court last week, Ray was acquitted of all of the charges against him.

Probation For Handgun Waver

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man arrested in June on drug and weapons charges after allegedly waving a handgun in the air to disperse a large group of people gathered near 11th Street pleaded not guilty last week and received probation before judgment.

Around 1 a.m. on June 8, Ocean City Police responded to the 11th Street area for a report of a large group of disorderly people. Officers arrived at the scene and met with the caller, later identified as Charles Paul Reichenberg III, 52, of Ocean City. The large disorderly crowd, which originated the call, was gone by the time police arrived.

Reichenberg told police in order to disperse the group of disorderly individuals on and around his property, he exited his home and waved a handgun in the air. During an interview with Reichenberg about the incident, officers learned he was prohibited from possessing any regulated firearms.

At around 3 p.m., officers served a search and seizure warrant at Reichenberg’s residence and located a .45 caliber handgun, marijuana and paraphernalia. He was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Last week, Reichenberg pleaded not guilty and was granted probation before judgment. He was also fined $100 and placed on probation for one year.