DNA Nabs Pharmacy Burglar
BERLIN - A Berlin man was arrested on burglary and theft charges last week after a DNA sample obtained from blood left at the scene of a break-in at a local pharmacy identified him as the suspect.
On Aug. 3, Berlin police responded to the Apple Drugs pharmacy for an activated burglary alarm. The investigation revealed a suspect or suspects forcibly entered the business and stole an amount of prescription medication. During the processing of the crime scene, detectives were able to locate several samples of blood left by the perpetrator.
The blood samples were sent to the Maryland State Police Crime Laboratory where a DNA profile was established. The suspect's DNA was then entered into the national DNA database for comparison. As a result, detectives were able to determine the DNA of the perpetrator of the burglary at Apple Drugs matched the known DNA profile of Van Kirk Bland II, 50, of Berlin.
An arrest warrant was obtained for Bland charging him with theft and burglary. Detectives then located Bland at his residence and he was placed under arrest without incident. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Berlin Police at 410-641-1333, or the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) at 410-352-3476.
DUI With Kids In Van
BERLIN - A Berlin woman was arrested for driving under the influence and child endangerment last week after police observed her buying alcohol at a convenience store with young children waiting in a van outside.
Shortly before 11 p.m. last Friday, Berlin police responded to the Your Store on Old Ocean City Blvd. for a possible drunk driver with two children in the vehicle. When police arrived, they located the van in question with two children, ages 11 and 7, inside. Police then observed the driver, later identified as Jennifer Kline, 39, of Berlin, inside the store buying alcohol.
The police noted Kline was out of sight and sound from her children in violation of state law. When the officers made contact with Kline, they noted in their report she appeared to be intoxicated. After failing field sobriety tests, Kline was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and child endangerment. A toximeter test revealed her breath-alcohol content was over twice the legal limit. She was released after being issued three traffic citations and one criminal citation.
Robbery Witness Sought
OCEAN CITY - Resort police this week are asking for the public's help in identifying a possible witness to an attempted bank robbery last week.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. last Monday, a white male in his mid- to early 40s entered the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street and Coastal Highway in Ocean City and slipped a note to a teller demanding money. The suspect must have had a change of heart because he ran from the building just a few minutes after entering the bank. No weapon was displayed during the robbery, no one was hurt and no money was taken.
The suspect was last seen exiting the bank and running west on 94th Street. He is described as a white male in his 40s with green or blue eyes, clean shaven and no visible tattoos. At the time of the attempted robbery, he was wearing a black T-shirt, gray cargo shorts and a bucket hat.
The attempted bank robbery suspect remains at large this week, but OCPD detectives are looking into a person of interest who may have witnessed the suspect fleeing the bank or may have other information about the incident. The potential witness was picked up on surveillance tapes from the bank at roughly the same time as the attempted hold-up and have made the pictures public in an attempt to identify the man.
Anyone who was in the area of 94th Street on the morning of the robbery, or who may have seen the suspect or the potential witness is urged to call OCPD Detective Shawn Jones at 410-723-6661.
Probation For Flag Burner
OCEAN CITY - A Berlin woman arrested on July 5 for disturbing the peace and burning an American flag pleaded guilty this week to the former charge and was fined $300 and placed on probation for a year.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on July 5, two Ocean City police officers who had finished their Fourth of July shifts and were heading home observed a woman, later identified as Rebecca Ellen McKimmie, 18, of Berlin, igniting an American flag with a cigarette lighter. As the officers approached, they observed McKimmie standing between two lanes of traffic leading to the Route 50 Bridge while continuing to light the flag until it was actively burning.
According to police reports, McKimmie then began to stomp on the burning American flag, causing several vehicles to swerve to avoid hitting her. When the officers asked McKimmie why she was burning the American flag the day after the celebration of the nation's independence day, she simply told them she was 'making a statement,' according to police reports.
McKimmie was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and desecrating a flag. This week, McKimmie pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace-hindering passage and was fined $300. She was also placed on probation for a year.
Self-Inflicted Wound Reported
OCEAN CITY - Ocean City police this week issued a rather vague release about responding to Teal Drive in Ocean City to assist Ocean City paramedics with a victim suffering from a self-inflicted injury.
According to the release, shortly before 9 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City police responded to the Teal Drive area to assist Ocean City Fire Department paramedics with an individual who was the victim of an apparent self-inflicted injury. The victim was later flown by Maryland State Police to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury for treatment. According to the release, the victim's name and the nature of the injuries are not being made public pending the outcome of the OCPD investigation.
Fine For Assault
BERLIN - An Ocean Pines man arrested on assault and reckless endangerment charges in late June after an infant was dropped and injured during a domestic dispute with the child's mother pleaded guilty this week to the latter charge and was fined $200.
Shortly before 4 a.m. on June 27, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence at the Pin Oak Apartments in Berlin for a reported domestic disturbance in the parking lot. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Adrian David Manuel, 25, was involved in a physical altercation with the mother of his child during which the woman received minor injuries.
However, the investigation also revealed the woman was holding a 6-month-old child in her arms during the argument and ensuing altercation, during which the infant was dropped on concrete and received a head injury. The Berlin Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the infant to PRMC in Salisbury where he received treatment.
Manuel was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment. This week in District Court, Manuel pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and was fined $200.
New No Jail Time For Assault
OCEAN CITY - A Baltimore man arrested on assault charges in June after a domestic incident at a mobile home park in West Ocean City pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four months in jail, all of which was suspended but the time he served awaiting trial, and was placed on probation for two years.
Around 10:30 p.m. on June 25, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to the Delmarva Trailer Park in Ocean City for a reported domestic assault in progress. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Nicholas Ryan Reynolds, 22, of Baltimore, had assaulted his girlfriend and his roommate, a 22-year-old New Jersey man.
Reynolds was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic assault. Last Friday, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four months in jail, all of which was suspended but time served, and he was placed on probation for two years. Reynolds was also fined $200, which was suspended.
Stabbing Case Forwarded To Circuit
OCEAN CITY - An Elkton man arrested in June for a stabbing incident after detectives obtained information tracing the suspect back to his home town appeared in District Court last week for a preliminary hearing and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court.
During the early morning hours of June 16, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to the area of 8th Street and St. Louis Ave. for a reported stabbing incident. Officers arrived and met with the victim, a 21-year-old Irish citizen living in Ocean City for the summer. The victim told police he was walking on St. Louis Ave. between 7th and 8th streets when he walked between two unidentified men.
In an unprovoked attack, one of the suspects 'punched' the victim in the abdomen as he passed by. The victim ran from the assault and only later realized he had not been punched in the stomach as he first thought, but rather had been stabbed in the abdomen. He was later transported to PRMC in Salisbury for emergency treatment.
Meanwhile, OCPD detectives conducted an investigation and were able to develop a suspect based on information provided by a field patrol contact. Detectives used that information to obtain additional information about the suspect, now identified as Seth Tyler Gills, 17, of Elkton, Md., including his activities before the stabbing incident and his possible whereabouts.
OCPD detectives then obtained an arrest warrant for Gills, charging him as an adult for first-degree assault. Gills was tracked to his hometown in Elkton and was arrested on June 24. He was returned to Worcester County and taken before a District Court Commissioner who ordered him held on a $50,000 bond. Last week, Gills appeared for a preliminary hearing and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court. Trial is tentatively set for Oct. 7.
Alleged Armed Robber
OCEAN CITY - A Pennsylvania man arrested in Ocean City in June on armed robbery charges, leading to his connection to a burglary investigation in his home state, had an initial appearance in District Court last week and had his case forwarded to the Circuit Court level.
A failed shot in the air from a handgun in the downtown area on June 16 led to the arrest of a Pennsylvania man, later identified as Adam Wayne Jackson, 19, of Landenberg, Pa., and ultimately helped law enforcement officials in that state to close a residential burglary investigation during which several guns were stolen. Around 2 a.m. on June 16, Ocean City police plainclothes officers patrolling in the downtown area around 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave. observed a man with a larger group of people urinating on a parked car. While the officers continued to observe, the suspect, later identified Jackson, walk over to another group of people in a hotel parking lot.
Jackson then produced a handgun from his waistband, pointed it straight over his head and pulled the trigger. The gun did not go off, however, and the Ocean City police officers quickly responded to the scene and arrested for possession of the handgun.
During the subsequent investigation, detectives learned prior to their arrival on the scene, Jackson had attempted to rob an unknown victim using the gun. The officers confiscated the weapon, a Glock 9mm pistol, and checked the serial number, which revealed the gun was reported stolen.
OCPD detectives later determined the handgun they recovered from Jackson was one of eight stolen during a residential burglary on June 11 in Londongrove Township, Pa.
OCPD investigators provided the Pennsylvania State Police with information about Jackson and his associates in Ocean City at the time of his arrest. The information enabled Pennsylvania investigators to develop additional suspects in the open burglary cases and eventually make several arrests related to the original burglary on June 11 as well as other burglaries that had occurred in the Londongrove Township area.
For the events leading to his arrest in Ocean City, Jackson was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted robbery, using a handgun in the commission of crime of violence, wearing and carrying a handgun on or about his person, second-degree assault and theft under $500. Last week in District Court, the case against Jackson in Worcester County was forwarded to the Circuit Court.
Restitution For Four-Wheeling
SNOW HILL - A Bishopville man charged in April with malicious destruction of property after getting not one but two vehicles stuck on a neighbor's farm land pleaded guilty to the charge last week in Circuit Court and received a suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the property owner.
On April 17, a Maryland State Police trooper was dispatched to a residence along Route 610 in Bishopville for a reported malicious destruction of property complaint. The trooper met with a property owner who pointed out a Toyota Tacoma being pulled out of his field nearby by a tow truck. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Brandon Sadler, 20, of Bishopville, had been four-wheeling on the victim's property without permission about 2:30 a.m. when he got his truck stuck in the mud.
Sadler then called a friend to help him get the truck out of the mud and the other man arrived with another truck belonging to Sadler's family with the intention of pulling the Toyota out of the mud. However, the second truck, a Dodge, also got stuck in the mud on the victim's property. Left with little or no other choice, Sadler and the other man called a tow truck to help with the situation.
By then, the victim had discovered the mess on his property and the tow truck had arrived and was pulling out the Toyota when the state police arrived on the scene. The trooper observed in his report there were deep tire tracks across the victim's property and the rear tires on the Toyota were flat, rendering the vehicle unable to drive.
Sadler was ultimately charged with malicious destruction of property over $500. Last week in Circuit Court, Sadler pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to three days in jail. The sentence was then suspended in favor of a $500 fine and probation for one year. Sadler was also ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the property owner.
SNOW HILL - A Delmar man arrested for trespassing and malicious destruction of property in March after first entering a West Ocean City residence uninvited and later slashing the tires of a vehicle in the back yard pleaded guilty last week to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to two months in jail, all of which was later suspended but 10 days.
On March 23, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to a residence on Keyser Point Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported burglary. The trooper met with the victim who told police three different witnesses had seen a man they knew as Thomas Sellers, 52, of Delmar, enter the home illegally the day before. According to the witnesses, Sellers announced he was going into the residence, which he had been banned from in the past, to use the bathroom.
While inside, the witnesses reported hearing Sellers rummage through cabinets in the home. The property owner returned and confronted Sellers, who said he had entered the locked residence after finding a hidden key outside. According to police reports, when Sellers left the residence, he went out to the back yard and slashed the tires of an unregistered Ford F-150 truck. Sellers had slashed other tires on the vehicle during an earlier incident.
Sellers was ultimately arrested on burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property charges. Last week, he pleaded guilty to the latter charge and was sentenced to two months in jail. All but 10 days of the sentence was then suspended and he was given credit for two days already served, netting Sellers eight new days in jail. He was also fined $500 and ordered to pay $150 in damages to the property owner.
Guilty Plea For Two
DWI Arrests In Five Hours
OCEAN CITY - A Woodbine, Md. woman arrested for drunk driving twice in the span of about five hours in early July pleaded guilty this week to driving under the influence and driving while impaired for the second incident and was placed on probation and fined $500.
Around 2:15 a.m. on July 3, an OCPD officer on marked patrol in the area of 22nd Street observed a woman, later identified as Jennifer Bowlin, 20, of Woodbine, swerving across lane markers and failing to stop at a stop sign. A traffic stop was initiated and Bowlin was ultimately arrested for driving under the influence and various other traffic violations. She was taken into custody, processed and later released on her own recognizance after appearing before a District Court Commissioner.
However, about five hours later at around 7 a.m., OCPD officers witnessed Bowlin get back in her vehicle and drive to the area of 28th Street. According to Maryland law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle within 12 hours after being arrested for DUI. Officers immediately arrested Bowlin again, charging her with driving under the influence, driving while impaired, driving within 12 hours after her previous arrest and other charges. For the second arrest, Bowlin was again taken before a District Court Commissioner who this time ordered her held on a $25,000 bond.
This week in District Court, Bowlin pleaded guilty to one count of driving while impaired and one count of driving under the influence and was fined a little over $500. The other charges against her were dropped as a condition of the plea arrangement.
New Bike Cop Shirts Unveiled
OCEAN CITY - Ocean City police this week unveiled new uniform shirts for bike patrol officers, finalizing the year-long transition from white uniform shirts to the blue uniforms.
Earlier this year, the OCPD began the transition from white uniform shirts to blue uniform shirts for all officers, and the last unit to make the change was the bicycle patrol officers. On Monday, the bike patrol officers hit the streets with their new blue uniform shirts.
The new shirts feature several improvements designed to enhance use and wear of the uniform as well as improved visibility, particularly for officers who work during the evening hours, including reflective lettering on both the front and back of the shirt.