Cops And Courts – April 20, 2018

Cops And Courts – April 20, 2018

Pickpocketing On Dance Floor

OCEAN CITY — Two Washington, D.C. area residents were arrested on theft charges last weekend after allegedly tag-teaming a pickpocketing scheme on the dance floor of a midtown nightclub.

Around 12:50 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 49th Street when he was alerted about a pickpocketing that had just occurred inside Seacrets nearby. The officer observed around six people being escorted out of the club by bar security including two suspects later identified as Bruce Deal, 51, of Washington, D.C. and Shelita Clark, 42, of Suitland.,

The bar security staff told police they had been advised a pickpocketing of a wallet had been reported and they were trying to track down the victim inside the nightclub. Bar security told police based on a review of video surveillance, they believed Deal was in possession of the stolen wallet.

OCPD officers located Deal in the parking lot and asked him if he was in possession of anyone else’s wallet. Deal said he was not and a search confirmed no other identification or cards on his person other than his own. Bar security then told police Clark, who was now sitting in a vehicle, had been the suspect who had taken the wallet from the victim and that they believed she had given it to Deal.

OCPD officers reviewed video surveillance and reportedly observed Deal and Clark on the dance floor watching the male victim dance with a female. According to police reports, the video surveillance showed Clark approach the victim from behind and begin to attempt to remove his wallet from his rear pants pocket. The officers observed Clark allegedly take the victim’s wallet from his pocket while he was dancing.

The surveillance also allegedly showed Clark walk over to Deal and hand him the stolen wallet. It also reportedly showed Deal later give the wallet back to Clark, according to police reports. The video surveillance also showed Clark attempting to repeat the theft scheme. According to police reports, Clark began dancing with an unidentified male and when the male bent over while dancing with Clark, she allegedly attempted to remove his wallet from his rear pants pocket. The surveillance allegedly showed the unidentified male get wise to the theft scheme and confront Clark about it.

OCPD officers met with the original victim who had been located by bar security. The victim told police his wallet was missing and that it contained his identification, credit cards and at least $80 in cash. At that point, Deal and Clark were arrested for theft.

About an hour later, officers returned to the nightclub for a follow-up investigation and learned the victim’s wallet had been found under a van in the nightclub parking lot. The wallet was found in a spot directly adjacent to where police initially found Clark and Deal. The wallet contained no cash. A security guard at the nightclub advised police he had witnessed the theft on the dance floor and alerted other security staff.


Windshield Smashed

OCEAN CITY — A Federalsburg man was arrested on malicious destruction of property charges last weekend after alleged smashing a vehicle windshield in a parking lot.

Around 11:15 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a parking lot at 49th Street for a reported malicious destruction of property. The officer met with a victim who told police he returned to his vehicle with a friend and saw another man later identified as Christopher Lankford, 25, of Federalsburg, leaning on a vehicle next to his.

According to police reports, the victim asked Lankford if he was okay and Lankford mumbled something incoherently. At that point, the victim got in his vehicle and attempted to leave. According to police reports, Lankford allegedly walked to the passenger side of the victim’s vehicle and as the vehicle attempted to back from a parking space, Lankford jumped on its roof and started striking the windshield with a closed fist.

Lankford caused the windshield to break and spider-web out, according to police reports. The windshield also cracked from one end to the other. After allegedly causing the damage, Lankford left the area on foot. OCPD officers located Lankford in the north end of the parking lot a short time later and he was positively identified. Lankford was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property.


Dine-And-Dash Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on theft and other charges last weekend after allegedly running out on a bill at a midtown restaurant.

Around 9:30 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a pizza restaurant at 56th Street for a reported theft of food and drinks. The officer met with the restaurant manager who told police a man later identified as Keith Higgins, 36, of Baltimore, had run up a check of nearly $33 and left the property without paying. Video surveillance from the restaurant allegedly confirmed the theft.

The OCPD searched the area for Higgins to no avail. However, a short time later the officer heard a loud banging coming from the parking lot of a neighboring establishment. The officer observed as Higgins allegedly ran into a parked vehicle multiple times while on foot and was in danger of damaging the vehicle. The officer also observed Higgins allegedly attempt to enter the vehicle multiple times by pulling on the door handle.

The officer met with Higgins who refused to provide any identification. When asked for identification, Higgins reportedly gave the officer his cell phone, which was turned off without any charge. Higgins was ultimately arrested and charged with theft and intoxicated endangerment.


Domestic Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Myersville, Md. man was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges last weekend after allegedly head-butting his girlfriend multiple times during a domestic argument.

Around 3:20 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed an apparently intoxicated couple arguing on the sidewalk in the area in 127th Street. The officer recognized the couple because he had just concluded an assault investigation with the pair a short time earlier. The female victim had a busted lip, bloody nose and bumps on her forehead. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Tyler Kisner, 23, of Myersville, had headbutted the victim multiple times. Kisner was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct because the altercation had drawn the attention of residents nearby.


Jail For Threatening Kids

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested in February after allegedly threatening three juvenile boys on an uptown sidewalk, pleaded guilty this week to intoxicated public disturbance and was sentenced to 10 days.

Around 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 3, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of Old Landing Road and Coastal Highway for a report of an intoxicated, disorderly individual threatening people. The officer met with three juvenile males who were standing on a second-story balcony on Old Landing Road.

The juveniles told the officer while they were walking on the sidewalk, they were approached by an unknown male adult who had threatened to kill them. The juveniles told police the suspect appeared to be intoxicated, told them he had a gun, had concealed his hand in his pocket and made furtive movements to suggest he had a gun.

The three juveniles quickly walked away and went back to their residence on Old Landing Road and called the police. The juveniles advised the OCPD officer the suspect was sitting on a balcony just below theirs. The officer observed an individual he knew as Aleh Matveyeu, 38, of Ocean City, from previous encounters, hunched over the balcony with his eyes closed. At that point, a mother and two young daughters stepped out onto the balcony and attempted to speak with Matveyeu, asking him why he was on their porch.

At that point, Matveyeu stumbled to his feet, left the porch and began walking south on Coastal Highway, according to police reports. The officer then observed Matveyeu walk across Old Landing Road. Vehicles on Old Landing Road had a green light to enter Coastal Highway and a large work truck had to quickly apply its breaks to avoid striking Matveyeu. At that point, the OCPD officer arrested Matveyeu for disorderly intoxication and intoxicated endangerment.  On Monday, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 days.


Drug Scam Warning

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is warning the public about an ongoing scam involving criminals posing as federal law enforcement personnel extorting unknowing victims out of money in a fake drug-buy scheme.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office warning comes from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about the scam being carried out. In the scam, victims are contacted by phone by DEA impersonators who attempt to convince them that they have purchased drugs illegally and that action will be taken if they don’t pay a fine.

According to the DEA, the criminals call the victims, who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the Internet or by phone, and identify themselves as law enforcement personnel. The impersonators inform the victims that purchasing drugs over the Internet or by phone is illegal and enforcement action will be taken against them.

In most cases, the scammers instruct their victims to pay the fine via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas. If the victims refuse to send money, the scammers often threaten to arrest them or search their property. Some victims who purchased drugs using a credit card also reported fraudulent use of their cards.

The DEA reminds the public to use caution when purchasing controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the Internet. It is illegal to purchase controlled substance pharmaceuticals online or by telephone unless very stringent requirements are met. And, all pharmacies that dispense controlled substance pharmaceuticals by means of the internet must be registered with DEA.