WEST OCEAN CITY — Two local men were arrested on multiple theft charges this week after an investigation linked them to an alleged spree of vehicle break-ins in the West Ocean City area throughout the month of October.
During the early part of October, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies began investigating a rash of car break-ins and thefts from motor vehicles in the West Ocean City area and along the Route 611 corridor including Frontier Town. During the spree, roughly $3,000 worth of electronics, cash and clothing were stolen from numerous vehicles.
Deputies took numerous reports and began piecing together information on possible suspects. During one of the thefts, an iPhone was stolen. The owner was able to locate the phone using its security features. Deputies responded to meet with the victim, whom they learned had already contacted security personnel at Frontier Town, where the phone’s security features had pinpointed its location.
The victim then activated the phone’s security feature, which led to the location of the suspects, later identified as Zachery A. Mitchell, 18, and Charles J. Mitchell, Jr., 21, both of Berlin. The suspects were interviewed and were later charged with multiple counts of theft, theft scheme and three counts of rogue and vagabond. Each suspect was taken before a District Court Commissioner and each was released on a $15,000 unsecured bond.
Meanwhile, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents and visitors to never leave their phones or belongings in unlocked vehicles overnight. The sheriff’s office hosts a number of training programs for both residents and businesses on how to protect their property and prevent incidents such as this latest theft spree from occurring.
In addition, with the approach of the holiday shopping season, burglaries and thefts in the area will likely increase and many will become victims because they failed to lock their doors or secure their valuables. According to the sheriff’s office, the most important lesson is for residents to look out for each other. Residents are urged to contact their neighbors and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to join a Community Watch Group in their neighborhood.