SNOW HILL — Two locals were sentenced last week for their roles in last year’s business burglary where they were formerly employed, including a five-year sentence for one for being an accessory after the fact.
Around 10 a.m. last Oct. 25, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the Beach Barrels bar and package goods store at 137th Street to investigate a burglary that had occurred sometime earlier. The officer met with the store manager who told police as much as $500 was missing from the Keno machine drawer and another $200 was missing from the cash register.
The manager told police surveillance footage showed an unknown individual taking money from the Keno drawer and the cash register drawer. Around 1:45 a.m., the business’s surveillance video shows a suspect open the Keno drawer and empty its contents into a small bag. The surveillance footage shows the same suspect go to the cash register in the center of the business and empty its contents into a small bag.
Around 1:46 a.m., the suspect exited the business through a rear door after unlocking a deadbolt at the top of the door. The suspect did not attempt to unlock the deadbolt at the bottom of the door, which was typically left unlocked, according to the manager, suggesting the suspect had knowledge of business operations.
After viewing the surveillance footage again, the manager told police he believed the suspect was a former employee, identified as Callee Pinkowski, 29, of Ocean City, who had been fired from Beach Barrels about a month and half earlier, but still had a key. The manager told police Pinkowski had been terminated for allegedly stealing money.
The manager also told police Pinkowski was dating an individual, identified as Sean Dempsey, 27, of Ocean City, who was also recently fired from Beach Barrels.
Around 1:45 p.m. the next day, OCPD officers canvassed the area around the Crab Bag, which is located in the same general area as Beach Barrels. OCPD officers found in the Crab Bag’s dumpster a blue sweatshirt with white writing on the front and a ball cap with the name of the restaurant in Fenwick where Pinkowski was last working. Also found in the same dumpster was a pair of blue jeans and a white rubber glove. A restaurant employee also turned over to police a pair of Air Jordan shoes he had found in the dumpster near the jeans and rubber glove.
Footage from a surveillance camera mounted on the corner of the Crab Bag and pointed directly at the dumpster where the clothes, hat, shoes and glove were found allegedly showed a male suspect known to police as Dempsey and a female suspect later identified as Pinkowski throwing the clothes, hat, shoes and glove into the Crab Bag’s dumpster.
All of the evidence led OCPD officers to believe Pinkowski was the suspect who entered the Beach Barrels establishment after hours and stole money from the Keno drawer and the cash register. The surveillance footage showed the suspect had intimate knowledge of the establishment and how to gain access to the money in the Keno and cash drawers. In addition, the baseball-style cap found in the front pouch pocket of the sweatshirt found in the dumpster had the name of Pinkowski’s current employer on it.
In May, Pinkowski pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Back in court last week, Pinkowski was sentenced to six months with all but 60 days suspended. Also last week, Dempsey pleaded guilty to accessory after the statute and was sentenced to five years, largely because of his prior record.