LPR Alert Results In Vehicle Theft Arrests
OCEAN CITY — Two Pennsylvania women were arrested on motor vehicle theft and other charges this month after a license plate reader (LPR) on Route 50 entering Ocean City detected the stolen car they were allegedly driving.
Around 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 18, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was alerted by an LPR on the Route 50 Bridge that a vehicle reported stolen in Pennsylvania was crossing the span into Ocean City. The OCPD officer first observed the suspected stolen vehicle at 27th Street and Philadelphia Avenue with a female driver and passenger inside and stopped the vehicle at 54th Street.
The driver, identified as Courtney Knight, 30, of Spring Grove, Pa., and the passenger, identified as Shawna Beard, 32, also of Spring Grove, were taken into custody while the officer checked the status of the stolen vehicle.
OCPD officers spoke with law enforcement in York County, Pa. and learned the vehicle had reportedly been stolen from a gas station the same week. According to Pennsylvania law enforcement, a female suspect entered the gas station on Dec. 15 with a red clipboard and informed the store clerk she was there to perform a night audit. The suspect then entered the office area of the store and took the employee’s car keys from a lock box, according to police reports.
The suspect then told the clerk she had to go out to her own vehicle to get a scanner to check on the pricing of some merchandize. A short time later, the victim saw her vehicle driving out of the store parking lot. OCPD officers spoke with the victim in Pennsylvania who provided a description of the suspect and confirmed her vehicle had been stolen.
Meanwhile, in Ocean City, Knight agreed to speak with the OCPD officer. When asked why she was driving a stolen vehicle, she told police Beard had borrowed the vehicle from a friend in Pennsylvania two days earlier in order to drive both of them to Ocean City. When OCPD officers spoke with Beard, she reportedly told police she had gone to the gas station in Pennsylvania with another friend to borrow a vehicle. Beard said her friend told her to go into the gas station and get the keys from the victim. When asked why she allegedly made up the ruse about conducting a night audit at the store, Beard told police the ruse was made up in case the store manager was there because they did not want to appear suspicious and that it would “look less weird.”
Beard reportedly told police they borrowed the vehicle because their own vehicle would not have made the trip to Ocean City. At the time the stolen vehicle was pulled over in Ocean City, the suspects were wearing the same clothes reported by the victim back in Pennsylvania. Beard also admitted entering the gas station, retrieving the keys and driving away with the vehicle.
The investigation revealed the two suspects drove eight hours from Pennsylvania to reach Ocean City. When questioning Knight further, OCPD officers asked her if she thought she should have known the vehicle did not belong to Beard based on the duration of the trip and the expectation someone wouldn’t loan a vehicle for that amount of time if they did not know them. Upon further investigation, it was learned Knight was with Beard when she allegedly took the stolen vehicle and not back at the hotel as she originally stated.
It was also learned during the investigation Beard and Knight were partners and had been together for eight years. Based on the evidence and testimony, Beard and Knight were each charged with motor vehicle theft.
Assault Charges Filed
OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was charged last week with two counts of second-degree assault following two alleged incidents a week apart late last month and in early December involving his live-in girlfriend.
Around 6:40 p.m. on Dec. 7, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on Sunset Drive for a reported domestic assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, the officer observed Craig Powell, 33, of Ocean City, and a female victim arguing at the top of the stairs. Powell and the victim were separated by officers who got each party’s version of what had occurred.
According to police reports, the female victim told officers she and Powell were dating and lived together at the unit. The victim told police she works at a north-end hotel and text messages Powell when she leaves for work, when she takes her lunch break and when she is coming home, according to police reports.
The victim told police when she left for work that Friday, Powell was sleeping and she neglected to text him as she typically does. When she arrived home that night, Powell was reportedly angry that she had not texted him and an argument ensued. The victim told police she was in the kitchen and was pouring laundry detergent into a large plastic baggie when Powell came in and grabbed the bottle of liquid laundry detergent and poured it all over her. According to police reports, the victim told officers when she threw the bag of detergent at Powell, he allegedly hit her over the head two times with the bottle.
The victim told officers of an alleged separate domestic assault on her by Powell a week earlier on Nov. 28. The victim told police she had taken a shower and brushed her hair before exiting her bedroom. According to police reports, Powell was home and had several friends over and became angry because he did not want her to be seen by her friends.
An argument ensued again, and Powell allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair at the base of her neck. According to police reports, the victim’s sister was on hand and attempted to intervene in the physical altercation. The victim did not report the incident that night, but later completed a witness statement.
According to police reports, the OCPD officer advised the victim that she could get a protective order against Powell, but the victim said she did not have a vehicle and could not drive to the courthouse to fill out the paperwork. The OCPD officer transported Powell to the Public Safety Building where she was successful in obtaining a protective order.
Based on the evidence and testimony, OCPD officers charged Powell with two counts of second-degree assault for the incidents.
OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly first fighting with his parents and then his brother outside the family’s resort residence.
Last Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched for a reported disorderly person at a residence on Canal Street. The officer recognized the address because he had been sent there two times earlier in the night for reports the suspect, later identified as Carrington Porter, 18, was fighting with his parents. During those early visits, Porter reportedly agreed to leave for the night and his parents refused to press charges.
However, when the officer was called back for the third time around 9 p.m., the officer observed Porter attempting to fight his brother in the front yard of the residence on Canal Street. According to police reports, Porter assumed a fighting stance and screamed obscenities at his brother. Also, according to police reports, the officer observed the mother begging him to intercede and stop the fight. At that point, Porter was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.