Charges Filed After Vehicle Break-Ins

OCEAN CITY — A Texas woman was arrested last week after being connected to a string of vehicle break-ins in a parking garage.

The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) continues to investigate a series of vehicle break-ins at a downtown condo parking garage on Dorchester Street this week although an arrest has been made. OCPD officers arrested Susan Channell, 50, of Keller, Texas, after connecting her to the break-ins.

Last Monday, OCPD officers responded to a condominium on Dorchester Street for a reported theft from a vehicle. The victim told police someone accessed his unlocked vehicle between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. and took several personal items, according to police reports.

While officers were on the scene, two additional victims came forward and reported several items had been stolen from their vehicles which had been left unlocked. All the vehicles involved in the apparent theft spree were parked inside the condominium’s locked and gated parking garage, according to police reports.

Through the investigation, OCPD officers learned the parking garage is only accessible to residents of the condominium who possess a key code that is changed frequently. OCPD officers were able to view surveillance video footage of the garage and condominium.

In the surveillance footage, OCPD officers observed a female later identified as Channell utilizing the elevator during the timeframe of the theft and observed her carrying items that matched the description of the stolen items. OCPD officers were then able to determine in which condo in the building Channell was staying.

The next day, OCPD officers were able to secure a search and seizure warrant from a District Court judge. During the search, OCPD recovered numerous items that had been reported stolen from vehicles. As a result, Channell was arrested and charged with theft from $1,500 to under $25,000, two counts of theft from $100 to $1,500 and three counts of rogue and vagabond. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on an unsecured personal bond of $2,500.

The OCPD is encouraging anyone to contact the department if they believe their vehicle has been broken into, even if they left their vehicle unlocked. Occasionally, victims of theft will not report a vehicle break-in if they believe they are at fault. Contacting the OCPD will allow officers to get an accurate account of incidents occurring in Ocean City and possibly recover stolen 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.