Missing Person Found
OCEAN CITY - A Russian girl living in Ocean City, who was reported missing back on Sept. 2 by her roommate was found safe and sound last weekend although the details about her disappearance have not been made public.
Anna Sevgeyevna Teselkina, 22, of Russia, had last been seen around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2, before she was found over the weekend. Teselkina's roommate told Ocean City Police the missing girl was planning to travel to Georgetown, Del. on Thursday, Sept. 3. However, she had not been heard from for nearly two weeks at her place of employment at Sunsations on 53rd Street.
Police became concerned when a search of her apartment revealed she had left her passport, a Russian driver's license, cell phone and an Ipod behind. On Saturday, the OCPD issued a flyer with a picture and description of Teselkina in an effort to enlist the public's help in locating the missing girl. Teselkina was also listed as a missing person in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.
On Sunday, resort police announced she had been located safe and sound although the release included no information about her whereabouts.
Disabled Sailboat Rescue
OCEAN CITY - A Pennsylvania man was pulled from the Sinepuxent Bay relatively unharmed last week after spending three hours in the water when his sailboat became disabled in a storm.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m. last Tuesday, Worcester County Emergency Services received a call from a man later identified as Kerry Wayne Klipp, 57, of Ortanna, Pa., who told 911 dispatchers he was in the water somewhere in the Sinepuxent Bay. Klipp told 911 dispatchers he was sailing in the bay when high winds and heavy surf conditions overturned his catamaran causing the mast to break free of the vessel. The weather conditions, including winds near 40 knots and waves two- to three-feet high, prevented Klipp from reattaching the disabled mast.
Worcester County Emergency Services dispatched three Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) units to the area, but visibility was limited to just a quarter of a mile because of the heavy rains. In addition, Klipp was not familiar with the area and could not give rescue workers even a rough proximity of his location. Worcester County then dispatched a U.S. Coast Guard unit from Chincoteague to assist the NRP units in the search.
Meanwhile, poor cell phone reception because of the storm made contact with Klipp difficult. However, Klipp's cell phone was GPS-encrypted and enabled Worcester County Emergency Services to stay in contact with the victim once a phone connection was established. The search lasted three hours until rescue workers were able to finally locate Kripp.
NRP officers transported Kripp to shore at Public Landing where he was evaluated and later released by the Snow Hill Rescue Squad.
Guilty Plea In Milestone
Palm Print Burglary Case
SNOW HILL - A Centerville, Md. man charged in April as the perpetrator in an October 2008 motel burglary in Ocean City in the first-ever case in Maryland of a suspect being identified using the new automated palm print database pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to theft less than $500 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Last spring, Ocean City police recorded a milestone, becoming the first law enforcement agency in the state to use the new automated palm print database to identify a suspect in an unsolved burglary in the resort last October.
On Oct. 16, 2008, Ocean City Police responded to the Coastal Inn on 26th Street for a reported commercial burglary. Once on the scene, OCPD detectives began to interview victims and determine what had been reported stolen. OCPD Forensic Services Unit Sgt. Mark Paddack began collecting evidence related to the burglary including several finger and palm prints.
Three of the finger and palm prints were deemed suitable for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) entry. The investigation continued as resort detectives continued to search for the perpetrator until January, when a Maryland State Police forensic scientist Stephen Weathers of the Latent Print Unit began to analyze a palm print recovered by Paddack at the Coastal Inn burglary scene in October.
Weathers was able to use the partial print to find a suspect in the case, later identified as Shawn H. Quick, 36, of Centerville. Quick is incarcerated in the Talbot County Detention Center in Easton, serving 18 months of a two-year sentence on a fourth-degree burglary charge in that county related to the Mercantile Eastern Shore Bank. In addition to his jail sentence, Quick was required to pay nearly $1,600 in restitution to the bank.
Based on the evidence collected from the crime scene at the Coastal Inn, along with the positive latent palm print identification provided by the state police forensics unit, Ocean City Police charged Quick with the October 2008 burglary. He was charged with second- and fourth-degree burglary, felony theft over $500 and malicious destruction of property. Last week, Quick pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, which he will be allowed to serve in the Talbot County Detention Center if an agreement can be reached between the wardens.
Quick's identification was the first case in Maryland history to get a 'hit' on an automated cold search of palm prints. The automated palm print database is new for Maryland and was instituted in October 2008 for the first time. The palm print identification database was implemented by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and is now housed and maintained by the Maryland State Police latent print unit.
$3K Payback Ordered
OCEAN CITY - A Deale, Md. man arrested in May on burglary and malicious destruction of property charges after breaking into a pair of midtown Ocean City condominiums received probation last week in District Court but was ordered to pay over $3,000 in restitution to the victims.
Around 8:30 p.m. on March 25, Ocean City police officers responded to La Mirage on 62nd Street for a reported breaking and entering in progress. Upon arrival, the officers observed the front window of Unit 603 was broken and that it had been opened. While waiting for a K-9 unit to arrive, the first officer heard the sound of glass breaking coming from the sixth floor.
The K-9 officer arrived and noticed the doorknob at 603 had been bent sideways, but the door was still locked and secure. The K-9 officer also tried the door at 604 and found it locked and secured. The K-9 officer announced his presence and warned whoever was inside 603 to come out or he would send the dog in. A short time later, a suspect, later identified as Phillip Kelly Woodell, 38, of Deale, Md., came out of 604 and was immediately taken into custody as police sorted out what was going on in the units.
Woodell asked police why he was being detained and the officer told him he was a suspect in a burglary. Woodell allegedly responded, 'I work at the University of Maryland, why would I break into someone's room.' When asked if he knew where he was right now, Woodell allegedly responded, 'I have no idea,' according to police reports. The officers noted in their reports Woodell appeared intoxicated and detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person. They also observed a cut on his finger with fresh blood.
A search of the two units revealed the rear sliding glass door of 603 was standing open and that the cabinets in the unit had been opened. A search of 604 revealed the rear sliding glass door had been shattered and the cabinets and refrigerator were standing open. Police observed a small table on the balcony of 604 had been overturned and they believe the table was used to smash the sliding door.
Prior to arriving on the scene, one of the officers was notified by dispatch that a yellow car pulled up to the rear of the building earlier. The officer looked and discovered a yellow Mitsubishi with Virginia tags with a University of Maryland parking sticker on the back windshield. A background check on the vehicle discovered it was registered to a Phillis Ann Woodell of South Riding, Va. Phillip Woodell was arrested and charged with two counts of breaking and entering and three counts of malicious destruction of property.
Last week in District Court, Woodell pleaded guilty to fourth degree burglary and was granted probation, but he was ordered to pay $3,130 in restitution to the victims for the damage caused to the condos.
Pimp Gets Same
Sentence As Girls
OCEAN CITY - A Temple Hills man arrested in June along with two women for soliciting prostitution on the parking lot of a midtown nightclub pleaded guilty last week in District Court and received a suspended sentence, probation and a fine.
Around 1:30 a.m. on June 6, Ocean City police detectives responded to the 49th Street area after witness complaints about people soliciting for prostitution. OCPD detectives arrived at the scene and observed a blue Dodge van with several people crowded around it.
Undercover detectives moved closer to the van and were approached by a man later identified as Maurice Lawrence Monroe, 30, of Temple Hills, who was soliciting prostitutes. The detectives engaged in a conversation with Monroe and two of his female associates, later identified as Essence Ethel Marie Scott, 22, of Falls Church, Va., and Janita Ellison, 38, of Temple Hills.
According to police reports, Monroe negotiated with the undercover detectives to exchange money for sex with Scott and Ellison. At that point, the undercover detectives placed Monroe, Scott and Ellison under arrest for charges related to the prostitution scheme. The van and $310 in currency was seized as part of the arrest of the three suspects. In addition, a small amount of pot was discovered inside the van and Monroe was also charged with possession of marijuana.
Last week in District Court, Monroe pleaded guilty to one count of prostitution-general and was sentenced to a year in jail. The sentence was then suspended and Monroe was placed on probation for three years and fined $500. Incidentally, Monroe's sentence was exactly the same as that of the two working girls, who appeared for trial earlier this summer.
Suspect Not Guilty In
Developmental Center Theft
SNOW HILL - On March 23, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives arrested Pocomoke resident Martha Fagan Anderson, 60, a Worcester County Developmental Center employee, and charged her with felony theft scheme over $500. The arrest came after a one-month joint investigation involving a WCDC internal investigator and WCBI detectives.
The investigation began after WCBI detectives received information Anderson was stealing funds intended for a mentally challenged county resident. Anderson's job at WCDC was to assist clients with independent living. A review of the agency's records and receipts turned up many discrepancies.
As a result, an arrest warrant was obtained for Anderson and she was taken into custody and charged with theft scheme over $500. Last week in Circuit Court, Anderson pleaded not guilty to the charge and was found not guilty.
Drug Crackdown Suspect Convicted
OCEAN CITY - A Denton man, arrested in June as part of the OCPD's summer-long crackdown on the sale of drugs in the resort, was found guilty this week of conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances and was sentenced to 19 days in jail.
Throughout the summer, the OCPD targeted the sale of illegal narcotics in the resort, particularly in the Boardwalk area, with an aggressive undercover operation during which officers made contact with suspected dealers and arranged to buy, or even sell in some cases, illegal narcotics. One such operation was carried out on June 12, during which four suspects were arrested. In that instance, undercover officers posed as would-be buyers and made contact with four individuals looking to sell drugs on the Boardwalk. One of the suspects arrested, Cortney Jamal Young, 21, of Greenwood, Del., appeared in District Court this week and pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute controlled dangerous substances and was sentenced to 19 days in jail.
Fire Damages Resort Home
OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office this week is investigating a fire at a single-family home on St. Louis Ave. early last Thursday morning.
Around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday, the Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire on St. Louis Ave. First arriving units reported heavy fire conditions visible from a one-and-a-half story single-family home. Fire units extinguished the blaze and remained on scene for about two-and-a-half hours performing overhaul operations.
The origin and cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal's Division of the Ocean City Fire Department. Fire and smoke damage was located throughout the residence. No injuries were reported. Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 410-289-8780, or call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-492-7529.
OCPD Detective Honored
OCEAN CITY - An OCPD detective was honored with an 'Exceptional Police Performance' award this week during the opening ceremony to kick off the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association's 48th Annual Training Seminar in Ocean City.
At Monday's opening ceremonies, six law enforcement officers from around the state were presented awards for exceptional police performance including Ocean City Police Cpl./Detective James Schwartz, who was honored by the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association for his outstanding work in narcotics investigation. Since becoming a full-time OCPD officer in 1999, Schwartz has been assigned to the department's vice/narcotics unit of the Criminal Investigation Division.
Throughout his tenure in narcotics, Schwartz has been deemed an expert drugs/narcotics investigator and is a member of the OCPD Commendation Board and a state of Maryland court-certified expert witness regarding controlled dangerous substances. He has also completed specialized narcotics training from MCTFT, MAGLOCLEN and DEA.
During his time on the narcotics unit, Schwartz has authored nearly 50 drug search and seizure warrants, initiated and supervised over 50 long-term felony drug investigations and been involved in hundreds of drug arrests. In 2003 and 2008, Schwartz initiated pharmaceutical diversion investigations resulting in the arrests of two local physicians. The two cases produced charges of several counts of prescribing medication outside of common medical practice. In 2005, Schwartz was involved in the seizure of one kilogram of powder cocaine with an estimated street value of $100,000.
Schwartz has received over 17 interdepartmental recognitions for above average performance and was recently named OCPD Officer of the Year by the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association.
Resort Arrest Log
OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Police Department was busy last week making dozens of arrests for all manner of crimes including several serious felonies.
Arrests of individuals suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol led the list from Tuesday, Sept. 8 to Tuesday, Sept. 15 with 12, but there were several other serious arrests made during the period for which no other information other than a simple line of type on a weekly log sheet was provided including three burglaries, one first-degree assault, two second-degree assaults, two thefts, two theft schemes, one malicious destruction of property involving a missile launched at a vehicle, one indecent exposure, one disorderly conduct, one fugitive located, four drug arrests, one obstructing and hindering and one disturbing the peace.