Speeding Stop Yields Pot

SNOW HILL — A New York resident was arrested on marijuana possession charges last weekend after getting pulled over for speeding on Route 113 near Snow Hill.

Around 8:30 a.m. last Saturday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy observed two vehicles traveling south on Route 113 near Route 12 in Snow Hill going 79 mph in a 55 mph zone. The vehicles were stopped and when the deputy approached, a strong odor of marijuana was detected coming from inside one of them.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Traye McPherson, 19, of Hemstead, N.Y., and the passenger was identified as Shanice Pierre, 20, also of Hemstead. A search of the vehicle revealed a zip-lock bag of marijuana in the glove compartment. When questioned, Pierre admitted to deputies that the marijuana was hers.

Pierre was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and was released on a criminal citation. McPherson was issued a traffic citation for going 79 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Hit-and-Run Suspect

Arrested For Heroin

BERLIN — A local man already facing numerous charges after a hit-and-run accident involving the Berlin police chief in November was arrested on heroin possession charges this week.

Around 8 p.m. on Monday, Berlin Police responded to a 911 call at a residence. Upon arrival, officers observed a suspect later identified as Isia Clemens, 23, of Berlin, smoking marijuana in plain view. A search also found Clemens to be in possession of heroin. A second man, identified as Gordon Walters, 41, of Berlin, was also found to be in possession of heroin. Both were arrested and charged with possession and released on criminal citations.

For Walters, Monday’s arrest comes at a time he is already facing numerous traffic charges for a hit-and-run incident involving Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing in November. Around 11 a.m. on Nov. 6, Downing was stopped at the intersection of Abbey Lane and West Street when a Chevrolet SUV backed into his vehicle. The driver, later identified as Walters then sped off without stopping, according to police reports.

Walters fled the scene with Downing in pursuit down West Street to West Buckingham Rd. for about a mile, then down Tingle Street, Upshur Street and Middle Street before finally being stopped on Buckingham Rd. Walters was then arrested without incident and was found to be driving on a suspended license. He was also found to be wanted for failing to appear in District Court.

Walters was charged with failure to stop after an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle, failure to return to and remain at the scene of an accident involving attended vehicle damage, attempting to elude police in an official police vehicle, unsafe backing of a motor vehicle, negligent and reckless driving and other counts relating to his suspended license and failure to appear. Walters is scheduled to appear for those charges next week.

Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty

SNOW HILL — The third of three Salisbury residents, arrested last January after local law enforcement officials were able to connect them to a series of thefts of flat-screen televisions, computers and other high-end electronics from the Route 50 Wal-Mart, pleaded guilty last week to theft scheme from $1,000 to under $10,000 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Last January, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into the theft of numerous laptop computers, desktop computers, televisions, home surveillance equipment and Blu-Ray DVDs from the Wal-Mart in Berlin. Surveillance camera evidence revealed three suspects entered the store and worked together to steal computers and televisions. The investigation revealed the three suspects returned later the same day and stole several more laptop computers.

Just days later, the three suspects, identified as Jaquell Murray, Wanda Murray and Richard Kelly, all of Salisbury, returned to the Berlin Wal-Mart and stole two more flat-screen televisions, a desktop computer and two home surveillance kits. The net value of those stolen items came to $5,000.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI), the Berlin Police Department, Maryland State Police and the Fruitland Police Department to assist in the identification of the three suspects. On January 26, the investigating officer was notified by Wal-Mart security that the three suspects had returned to the store.

The officer was able to locate and stop their vehicle and identified the three suspects using surveillance cameras and Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) photographs. All three were charged with two counts of theft less than $1,000, two counts of theft from $1,000 to $10,000, theft scheme from $1,000 to $10,000 and conspiracy.

Later on Jan. 26, WCBI detectives executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence in Salisbury where the suspects had stored some of the stolen items. WCBI was able to recover some of the stolen items, but learned a large amount of the electronic equipment had been sold to the public. WCBI detectives obtained the serial numbers of the stolen televisions, laptops and personal computers and have entered them in the National Crime Information Center database as stolen, however, it is uncertain which, if any, of the stolen items had been recovered.

Last Tuesday, Wanda Murray pleaded guilty of theft scheme from $1,000 to $10,000 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and was fined $200. In November, Richard Kelly pleaded guilty to the same count and was sentenced to three years with two suspended. Kelly was also ordered to pay over $5,000 in restitution to the victim. The case against the third suspect, Jaquell Murray, has been deemed inactive due to incompetency to stand trial.

Drive-By Shooting Probed

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are looking for a suspect wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting on Monday night.

Around 9 p.m. on Monday, Salisbury Police responded to the area of E. Church Street for a reported assault with a firearm. The investigation revealed a victim was walking down the street when the incident occurred. A vehicle slowed down as it drove by and a suspect inside the vehicle fired several shots at the victim.

The victim was shot once in the thigh and was transported to PRMC where he was treated and released. After the shooting, the suspect fled the area in a vehicle. Salisbury Police officers canvassed the area and determined that one of the shots struck a nearby house, breaking a window. No one inside the house was injured.

Salisbury Police this week continued to search for the suspect and the vehicle. The suspect is described as an African-American male wearing a black hat, black clothing and black gloves at the time of the shooting. The vehicle is described as a late 1990s Ford Explorer, tan in color with silver hubcaps and unknown Maryland tags. Anyone with information is urged to contact Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776. Crime Solvers will pay up to $1,000 for tips that lead to arrests.

Internet Rental Scam Warning

OCEAN CITY — Despite the current weather conditions, the Ocean City Police Department this week is reminding citizens to be cautious when using the Internet to search for vacation rentals as the web has become rife with scammers posing as property renters.

With the summer season quickly approaching, the OCPD this week issued a warning to those who use Internet search sites to research and book vacation rentals in the resort. While most websites can be a valuable tool in finding reasonable vacation rentals, consumers need to be aware there are scammers out there that prey on summer vacation renters.

According to the OCPD, some of the most consistent “red flags” associated with rental scams are demonstrated through poor grammar, spelling errors, poor capitalization and punctuation on any online material. In addition, if a vacation rental owner does not accept credit cards as a form of payment, they should almost always accept a personal check.

Most scammers will only take cashier’s checks or ask money to be wired to a specific account.  Lastly, you should be cautious of a property owner who is hesitant or unwilling to provide additional information in regards to the rental property, such as amenities or photographs.

Renters should take additional steps to assure the owner and rental properties are legitimate. There are several tips one should remember to avoid being a victim of an online rental scam. First, do not wire money to a suspected landlord and remember, regardless how convincing the tale, make sure the person renting the house actually owns it. Also, verify where to go and who to see to pick up the rental key. Make sure that the person and location is valid. Finally, anyone with suspicious concerns should follow their instincts. Even if it means paying a fee, it is often safer dealing with a licensed real estate agent.

Taser Used In Alleged Assault

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges this week after an alleged unprovoked attack on another man in an apartment complex parking lot.

Around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a residence on Glen Ave. for a reported assault in progress. The deputy met with a male victim who reported he had been attacked by a suspect later identified as Jay Scott Burrows, 30, of Salisbury. The victim told police he and Burrows had been drinking alcohol together in an apartment complex parking lot when Burrows attacked him unprovoked.

The victim told police Burrows was yelling he was going to kill him as he shocked him with a taser and kicked him in the abdomen while the victim was on the ground. The deputy located Burrows and found a taser in his possession. Burrows was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.