Cops & Courts – March 5, 2021

Cops & Courts – March 5, 2021

Theft Scheme Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was arrested last week after detectives were able to connect her to a fraudulent theft scheme involving her mother’s credit card.

In September, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer met with a female victim who advised her credit card information had been compromised and an unknown individual had been using Cash App to disseminate money from her account to different individuals. The victim had contacted her credit union to investigate the apparent fraud of her credit card, which she had in her possession.

The investigation revealed there had been 39 transactions totaling over $2,100, all using Cash App. The victim identified two individuals who could have had access to her credit card account number including her daughter, Evelyn Cordner, 28, of Ocean City, and her boyfriend. The couple had lived with the victim for a period of time.

In December, the OCPD detective assigned to the case met with Cordner, who was being held at the OCPD booking facility on an outstanding warrant from Delaware. The warrant from Delaware was for theft and fraudulently using a credit card which belonged to her boyfriend’s father. The detective informed Cordner she was being held on the warrant from Delaware for allegedly using Cash App to disseminate money to a number of individuals, according to police reports.

The OCPD detectives provided Cordner with two names of individuals who had been recipients of money through Cash App. According to police reports, Cordner acknowledged knowing the two individuals, but denied fraudulently sending them money, saying “Just because my Cash App was used doesn’t mean I’m the one who sent the money,” and “I’m not going to jail for anyone.”

A review of Cordner’s Cash App activity confirmed transactions to one of the individuals whom the officer provided to Cordner. Bank records reportedly showed numerous payments from Cordner to the named recipient. The payments were reportedly made between Sept. 4 to Sept. 9.

In December, the OCPD detective talked with the recipient via telephone and asked her about the transactions. The recipient told the officer she had received and sent numerous transactions from Cordner.

The officer asked the recipient if she could access her Cash App account and provide data from the dates in question. The recipient then sent the officer an email containing screen shots of text messages and a record of the recipient’s Cash App transactions. The information revealed Cordner had allegedly sent money to the recipient through the app and asked her to send it right back to her, according to police reports.

The detective was able to compare the recipient’s Cash App transactions with Cordner to the bank statements of the victim, Cordner’s mother. The victim later informed the officer her credit union had credited her account for all the fraudulent transactions. Based on the evidence, the detective acquired a warrant for Cordner’s arrest, charging her with theft and theft scheme. She was taken into custody last week and formally charged.

Local Man Arrested After Pool Table Ruckus

OCEAN CITY — A Pocomoke man was arrested on multiple charges last weekend after allegedly causing a ruckus over whose turn it was on a pool table at a downtown bar.

Around 1:10 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a bar at 8th Street for a reported assault that had already occurred. The officers arrived and allegedly observed a male, later identified as Albert Hicks III, 49, of Pocomoke, screaming at the staff of the establishment. As officers approached, a female later identified as Hicks’ daughter, was attempting to calm him down.

OCPD officers observed a wooden board that was part of the outside bar was detached and lying on the sidewalk. The board had nails sticking out of it and was about three feet in length. The officers escorted Hicks and his daughter away from staff and other patrons of the bar, according to police reports.

Officers then separated Hicks from his daughter and asked her to report what had happened and she agreed. The daughter said she and her father had been at the casino earlier in the evening and around midnight came to the bar with the intention of playing pool. The daughter told police they got in the queue of patrons waiting to play pool and when it was their turn, another man stepped in and took control of the table.

The daughter told police she confronted the man, whom she believed had taken their spot at the table, and he aggressively began to scream at her and pushed her with both hands on the side of the ribs. Bar staff quickly intervened and removed Hicks and his daughter from the bar. The daughter said she believed it was unfair they had been removed while the other man remained inside.

According to police reports, throughout the interview with the daughter, she repeatedly changed her story about the confrontation with the other man over the pool table. At first, she said he pushed her with both hands on the side of her ribs. She later said the other man punched her in the stomach and struck her in the mouth with an open hand. It should be noted the police report indicates the daughter did not have any signs of physical injury, nor were her clothes disheveled in any way. In addition, she did not appear to be in any pain, nor was she nursing any injuries, according to police reports.

Next, OCPD officers interviewed the man allegedly involved in the confrontation and he reportedly told a different version of the events. The man reportedly told police he and his wife had come to the bar and were waiting to get on a pool table. The man told police bar staff refused to serve the daughter alcoholic beverages and had to remind her several times to wear a face mask.

According to police reports, the man told the officer bar staff told him it was his turn for a pool table, but as he approached the table, Hicks’ daughter confronted him and began to aggressively argue about whose turn it was. As the man attempted to seek help from bar staff, Hicks approached him and shoved him with both hands onto the pool table, according to police reports.

At that point, bar staff removed Hicks and his daughter from the establishment. During an interview, the man’s wife corroborated his version of the events. The officers checked bar surveillance video to gain a timeline of the events. According to police reports, the video footage shows the male victim and Hicks’ daughter conversing near the pool table.

Hicks approached the area aggressively and pushed his daughter aside to get to the male victim. Hicks then allegedly shoved the male victim with both hands onto the pool table before he and his daughter were escorted out, according to police reports. Video footage from the sidewalk outside reportedly shows Hicks attempting to gain entrance to the bar while other patrons attempt to restrain him.

The video footage reportedly shows Hicks intentionally grab the wooden board from the outside bar and rip it from where it was attached, which is when police arrived. All in all, Hicks was charged with second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property, intoxicated endangerment and disorderly conduct.


Knife Found In Traffic Stop

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on weapons charges last week after a large knife was allegedly found during a routine traffic stop.

Around 8 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the downtown area when he observed a vehicle turn from Caroline Street to southbound Philadelphia Avenue directly in front of his marked vehicle. The officer reportedly had to apply his brakes to avoid a collision with the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.

According to police reports, the officer observed the front seat passenger and the rear seat passenger making furtive movements. The officer reportedly observed the passengers reaching around the floorboard near the front passenger seat. The officer observed one of the passengers, identified as Hunter Branco, 18, of Millsboro, Del., lean forward and reach under the front seat as if he were attempting to conceal something.

For safety reasons, the observations and the furtive movements of the passengers, the officer ordered the occupants out of the vehicle. Branco and the other occupants consented to a search of their persons, which turned up nothing of evidentiary value, according to police reports. The officer did detect the odor or raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment and searched the vehicle, according to police reports.

In the vehicle, the officer reportedly located a large, fixed-blade knife with a red bandana tied around the handle inside a black sheath. There was also another folding knife inside a backpack on the rear passenger side floorboard, but it was not a spring-assisted knife.

The fixed-blade knife was roughly 12 inches long. It was located directly where Branco had been seated in the vehicle and the backpack was located in the area where Branco had been reaching around under the front passenger seat. Branco denied ownership of the knife and the backpack. Based on the evidence, Branco was arrested for carrying a concealed deadly weapon.