K-9 Tracks Burglary Suspects To Bush

OCEAN CITY — An Olney, Md. man was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges last weekend after allegedly swiping another man’s wallet on a municipal bus, breaking into a downtown motel room and fleeing from police before being caught uptown.

Last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported theft on a municipal bus. According to police reports, Zachary Moko, 18, along with a juvenile, got on an Ocean City bus around 28th Street and stole a wallet from a male victim containing $570. Moke and the juvenile then got off the bus and the victim followed in an attempt to negotiate the return of his wallet.

The juvenile accompanying Moko squared up and punched the victim in the neck, according to police reports, and the two suspects fled the scene. OCPD officers learned Moko and others had been staying at a nearby motel on 29th Street, but had been evicted by management. OCPD officers went to the motel and observed Moko running toward the unit from which he had been recently evicted although police did not immediately locate him.

While OCPD officers were reviewing video surveillance of the robbery on the municipal bus, a witness reported someone had ripped the window screen off a ground floor unit from which Moko had been evicted. Apparently, Moko and the juvenile had returned to the motel room and, after finding the door locked, broke in through a rear window.

OCPD officers searched the motel room but did not find Moko and his juvenile accomplice. However, they did find the victim’s wallet devoid of any cash along with his driver’s license in the motel room toilet.

OCPD officers learned Moko and the juvenile had fled the area on foot and got on a northbound municipal bus. Moko and the juvenile got off the bus around 66th Street where they were approached by an OCPD officer in an unmarked vehicle with its lights flashing. Moko and the juvenile fled on foot toward the beach at 66th Street.

According to police reports, Moko and the juvenile ran up the beach, shedding their clothing and leaving it strewn on the beach in the process. A K-9 search was initiated and Moko and the juvenile were found hiding in a bush close together wearing just their shorts in the area of 76th Street.

During a search of Moko’s person, the victim’s stolen money was located. Moko was arrested and charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.