Jail Time For Auto Shop Burglaries

BERLIN — A Berlin man, arrested last September for alleged break-ins at auto repair shops in the area, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to eight years, all but 18 months of which was suspended.

Chad Cirigliano, now 41, of Berlin, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of second-degree burglary for the alleged auto repair shop break-ins last September. He was sentenced to eight years, with all but 18 months suspended, and placed on supervised probation for three years upon release.

Around 3 p.m. last Sept. 26, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Wally’s Garage on Seahawk Road in Berlin for a reported burglary and Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives responded to assist. Detectives met with the garage owner, who advised his business had been burglarized. The owner told police he arrived and observed a portion of the rear garage door had been broken and that tools and other miscellaneous items on the front counter had been ransacked.

Detectives observed the door had been tampered with including damage from a screwdriver or crow bar, which is how the suspect allegedly entered the building. The owner told police it appeared nothing had been stolen and the business did not keep a cash drawer on the counter overnight.

WCBI detectives obtained video surveillance footage from the garage owner’s son reportedly showing a suspect entering the property shortly after 3 a.m. The suspect walked onto the property and the surveillance video captured a clear image of the suspect’s face.

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According to police reports, the video surveillance allegedly shows the suspect walk toward the garage and shine a flashlight into the screened porch area of the business. The suspect entered the screened porch area and reached up and unscrewed an overhead lightbulb, according to police reports. The suspect then entered the garage using a crowbar and exited about 10 minutes later at 3:40 a.m.

Around 4:20 a.m. on September 26, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a alarm activation at Racetrack Auto on Route 50. MSP troopers arrived on scene and located a suspect later identified as Cirigliano, who was wearing a gray sweatshirt, gray sweatpants and shoes identical to those worn by the suspect at the Wally’s Garage break-in about an hour earlier. MSP troopers arrested Cirigliano for the burglary at Racetrack Auto. He was then connected to the open Wally’s Garage investigation.

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.