OCEAN PINES — A few more details emerged this week on the capture of a Berlin man sought for four days in connection with a string of burglaries in the area.
Orion Christopher Conway, 24, of Berlin, was captured on Tuesday afternoon following a massive search effort in and around Ocean Pines. The initial search for Conway began late Friday night and into early Saturday morning after it was determined he was in Berlin.
Berlin Police and allied law enforcement agencies searched extensively for Conway early Saturday morning on the ground with K-9 units and from the air with a Maryland State Police helicopter, which flew low level searching for the suspect, creating quite a stir in the otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
Berlin Police briefly made contact with Conway at a home on William Street, but he was able to evade the officers and flee the scene. Conway remained at large for the next three days, although investigators had at some point determined he was likely in the Ocean Pines area at the home of a relative.
Overnight on Saturday, local law enforcement issued press releases and pictures of the suspect to area media, including The Dispatch, which posted the information on its website and Facebook page. At some point on Sunday, Conway contacted The Dispatch through its social media page and demanded his picture be taken down from the newspaper’s Facebook page. The Dispatch contacted local law enforcement with the information about the connection with Conway, pointing out his messages sent via Facebook could provide some information on his possible location as he was accessing the social media from his cell phone.
Investigators told The Dispatch they had an idea where Conway was in Ocean Pines and were waiting for an opportunity to apprehend him when he made another appearance in the area. Around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Conway was seen around the Ocean Pines Library and community pool area near the South Gate. Maryland State Police in conjunction with the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and federal authorities attempted to apprehend Conway, but he evaded capture and fled into the woods nearby, touching off a major search effort including K-9 units and MSP Aviation.
At one point, around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, as a result of the MSP helicopter flying abnormally low over Route 90 and authorities walking along the highway, some motorists pulled off to the shoulder confused by the sights.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Maryland State Apprehension Team was able to locate and arrest Conway in the Ocean Pines area. Conway led investigators on a short foot pursuit but was ultimately taken into custody. During his apprehension, Conway resisted arrest and further assaulted one of the law enforcement officers at the scene. The law enforcement officer was not injured during the assault.
Conway had been fleeing law enforcement for two weeks prior to his capture on Tuesday. Around 10:35 p.m. on Friday, Berlin Police responded to a residence on William Street for a reported domestic incident, but found no active dispute or evidence of a prior dispute. About an hour later, Berlin Police received a second call from the same location, alerting police Conway was at the residence, which touched off the major search effort late Friday and into early Saturday morning in the downtown Berlin area.
After his capture on Tuesday afternoon in Ocean Pines, Conway was charged with second-degree burglary, burglary conspiracy, theft, malicious destruction of property and assault. The current charges, with the exception of assault, are related to a burglary on Bay Street in Berlin dating back to May 25, although police believe Conway is linked to other reported burglaries in the area. Investigators are asking the public to check all belongings and outdoor equipment in an effort to identify other possible victims during the spree.
While at the residence on William Street on Friday, another suspect, Amanda Sinclair, 22, of Ocean City, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for theft for her alleged role in the May 25 burglary on Bay Street and she was released to the custody of the MSP. Another suspect, Joseph Emm, 20, of Berlin, was arrested back on May 30 by the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) for his role in the Berlin burglary.
On Wednesday morning, Conway had a bail review hearing in District Court in Snow Hill and was ordered to be held on a $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing for the charges related to the May 25 hearing has been set for July 8. A District Court trial for the resisting arrest and assault charges related to his capture on Tuesday has been set for July 15.