Man Charged After Crashing Stolen Vehicle

BERLIN — Two Berlin Police officers were injured after two department vehicles crashed in pursuit of a suspect who stole a car from a local dealership on Friday and attempted to ram law enforcement trying to stop him.

On Friday, a Berlin Police officer attempted to pull over a vehicle on Worcester Highway for a routine traffic stop. During the stop, the driver, identified as Stefphon Bowen, 40, of Berlin, fled in the vehicle, which was later found to have been stolen from Barrett’s Chevrolet. A chase ensued, during which Bowen attempted to ram a police vehicle.

Berlin Police pursued Bowen to the area of Worcester Highway and Carey Rd., where the stolen vehicle left the roadway and ended up in a wooded area. During the pursuit, two Berlin Police vehicles collided. Bowen then fled on foot into a wooded area and was eventually captured by police, who had to use a Taser to subdue the suspect and take him into custody.

Two Berlin police officers were injured during the incident and were taken to Atlantic General Hospital by Berlin EMS and were treated and released. Bowen was also taken to AGH were he was treated for minor injuries and was released. Bowen was charged with motor vehicle theft, first- and second-degree assault, possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $25,000 bond. The Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) assisted during the incident.

Heroin Dealer Sentenced

SNOW HILL — One of two Ocean Pines residents who pleaded guilty earlier this year in one of the largest heroin busts in Worcester County history was sentenced last week to eight years in jail, all but six months of which were then suspended.

Last fall, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, in partnership with the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit, conducted several joint heroin investigations in the north end of the county. During the course of the investigation, a suspect identified as Leck Lyons, 38, of Ocean Pines, was identified as a source of the heroin being distributed in the north end of Worcester.

As a result, a search and seizure warrant was authored for Lyons’ home in Ocean Pines and his vehicle. Last Oct. 19, Lyons was observed in his vehicle at the intersection of Worcester Highway and Bishopville Rd. near Bishopville. Lyons was in the company of a female passenger later identified as Jayna Lynn Griffith, 27, also of Ocean Pines. The vehicle was stopped and Lyons and Griffith were taken into custody.

Pursuant to the warrant, a search of Lyons’ vehicle resulted in the seizure of 1,678 individually-wrapped bags of heroin along with a little over $2,000 in currency. The individually-wrapped bags of heroin have an estimated street value of $41,940, making it the largest heroin seizure in recent history in Worcester County, according to police reports.

A search and seizure warrant was executed a Lyons’ Ocean Pines residence resulting in the seizure of an additional seven bags of heroin. Lyons and Griffith were transported to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at which time they were each charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute-large amount, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin and importation of heroin.

Earlier this spring, Lyons pleaded guilty to possession of a large amount of heroin and his sentencing has been deferred until August 12. Griffith pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was back in court last Friday for sentencing. She was sentenced to eight years in jail, all but six months of which was suspended. She was also placed on probation for three years upon release and was fined $500.

Scam Investigated

SALISBURY — The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents this week about a scam promulgated on a local couple by caller claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, who advised them they had won $1 million and a Mercedes.

Last Thursday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy met with a local couple who reported they had been the victim of a scam. The previous day, the couple had been called by an individual who claimed to be from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, who advised them they had just won almost $1 million and a new Mercedes. The caller told the couple all they had to do was pay a small fee of $500 and the prizes would be on the way.

The couple paid the $500, but “complications” kept arising with the awarding of the prizes and the local residents ended up paying about $3,000 in fees. After several back-and-forth conversations and transactions in an attempt to claim their prizes, the couple realized they were being scammed and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

While the deputy was at the victims’ residence, the scammer called again, but when the deputy got on the line, the caller hung up. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the phone calls to the victims originated in Kingston, Jamaica. The investigation is ongoing.

Credit Card Thief Sought

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect wanted for swiping credit cards from PRMC employees and then using them at the Wal-Mart in Fruitland.

Salisbury Police this week issued a release seeking help in identifying a suspect wanted on two felony thefts and credit card fraud. On July 2 and again on July 5, an unknown African-American male was able to gain access to the office areas of employees at PRMC and steal their purses and wallets. The suspect then utilized the victims’ credit cards at the Wal-Mart in Fruitland to obtain various items without authorization. Detectives were able to obtain photographs of the suspect from the store’s video surveillance system.

The suspect is described as a black male in his late 50s, roughly 5’10 to 6’ tall with a thin build. He was wearing eyeglasses, a white dress shirt, a tie, a Fedora hat, dress pants and a sport coat at the time of the crimes. He was also driving a silver 2011 Toyota Corolla with Maryland tags, possibly 7AN3718. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Salisbury Police Department at 410-548-3165, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776. Crime Solvers often pay cash rewards up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Armed Robbery Of Phone

SALISBURY — Five Salisbury men were arrested on armed robbery and other serious charges this week after allegedly robbing a female victim of her cellphone with a handgun early Monday morning.

Around 4:45 a.m. on Sunday, Salisbury Police responded to a reported armed robbery in the area of Records Street. The investigation revealed five unknown African-American males were in a residence with a female when one of the suspects displayed a handgun and demanded a cellphone from the victim. When the victim refused to turn over the phone, the suspects allegedly grabbed her by the arms and forcibly removed the phone from her possession.

The suspects then fled the area and the victim called the police. The investigation revealed the suspects may have fled to a residence on nearby Lincoln Street, and police found four of the five suspects there and took them into custody. The fifth suspect was apprehended the following day. Arrested were Dequan White, 17, of Salisbury, and Shaquan Wallace, 17, also of Salisbury, who are both being charged as adults. Also arrested were three 14-year-old juveniles, who have been turned over to the Department of Social Services.