BERLIN – A former butcher shop owner was formally charged with theft of meat from an Ocean City grocery store last week.
In August, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) began an investigation into the alleged theft of large quantities of meat from the Acme grocery store in the resort by former Berlin Council member and Berlin Butcher Shop owner Lisa Hall. According to OCPD officials at the time, Hall was suspected of buying cases of various meat products from the Acme in Ocean City and then repackaging it and reselling it retail at her Berlin shop, which violates health code rules that govern food-selling operations.
However, in August it came to light Hall was allegedly picking up meat orders from the Acme store in Ocean City and not paying for them. In those cases, store cashiers, uncertain if Hall had made prior payment arrangements, allowed the butcher shop owner to leave the store with large meat orders without paying for them.
Last week, roughly four months after that investigation began, Hall was formally charged with four counts of theft less than $1,000 and one count of theft scheme from $1,000 to under $10,000. The four theft counts include incident dates of Aug. 14, Aug. 18 and Aug. 19. The theft scheme charge shows a date range from Aug. 14 to Aug. 19. A preliminary hearing date has been set for Jan. 11.
The most recent charges against Hall filed last week come on the heels of similar charges against her filed in September by a meat supply company alleging she knowingly wrote bad checks with insufficient funds for meat deliveries at her defunct Berlin Butcher Shop. In September, C&C Meat Sales file charges alleging Hall wrote a check for one delivery in April totaling $2,836 and another in May totaling $2,415, both of which were returned for non-sufficient funds. The meat purveyor alleged attempts to have Hall make good on the bounced checks have been unsuccessful.
As a result, the District Court of Maryland in Worcester County has issued a criminal summons for Hall, charging her with four counts of passing checks with insufficient funds and two counts of felony theft from $1,000 to under $10,000. The charging documents allege Hall signed both checks with were later returned for insufficient funds. In that case, Hall asked for a jury trial and it was forwarded to Circuit Court. A trial in that case was set for Jan. 9, but with the charges filed last week, the trial has been moved to Feb. 1.