Incident Helps Police Break Hotel Robbery Case
OCEAN CITY - Resort police last week got a big break in an unsolved Ocean City hotel robbery case dating back to August when one of the persons of interest in the case was arrested in Somerset County after a bizarre chase involving a Maryland State Police trooper being dragged by a car before shooting out the tire.
Around 5 a.m. on Aug. 6, Ocean City police detectives responded to the Stowaway Hotel for a reported armed robbery. Upon arrival, they interviewed the desk clerk and night auditor who told police a masked man armed with a gun had entered the hotel, forced her to open a safe and duct-taped her to a chair before fleeing with tens of thousands of dollars.
Detectives Brett Case and Shawn Jones listened attentively to the clerk, later identified as Brady Ashley Greer, 21, while forming their own opinions about what really happened that morning. Their suspicions were confirmed this week to some degree when the mystery armed robber, later identified as George M. Taylor, Jr., 23, of Stockton, who was Greer's boyfriend, confirmed it was an inside job allegedly planned by Greer and carried out by the couple.
'This one smelled like [expletive deleted] from the beginning,' said Case on Wednesday. 'Everything she told us didn't quite add up and we suspected she might be involved at the outset.'
Taylor was arrested last Thursday after a wild pursuit and brief standoff during which a Maryland State Police trooper was dragged by the suspect's vehicle before shooting out a tire and freeing himself. Around 12:30 p.m. last Thursday, an MSP trooper from the Princess Anne barrack stopped a Mercury passenger car driven by Taylor for speeding on Route 667 just north of Pocomoke. The trooper ran a warrant check on Taylor and found he was wanted in Worcester County.
When the trooper returned to the car and ordered Taylor out of the vehicle at gunpoint, the suspect put the car in gear and attempted to flee. The trooper reached into the vehicle in an attempt to put the car back in park, but Taylor refused to submit to the officer's commands and drove off, dragging the trooper a short distance alongside the vehicle.
Fearing for his life, the trooper was able to reach his service revolver and fired a shot at a rear tire on the vehicle, deflating it. The trooper was then able to disengage himself from the vehicle and ran back to his patrol car to pursue Taylor.
Taylor drove for about two miles with the trooper in pursuit before running first toward a shed on private property and then changing direction and running into the house. Several troopers surrounded the house and ordered Taylor to come out. After about 15 minutes, Taylor was arrested without further incident.
Troopers found a handgun near the shed where Taylor had first run and verified the gun belonged to Taylor. He is believed to know the people who live in the residence. He was taken into custody and later charged with a variety of serious offenses related to the chase and brief standoff, but his arrest triggered a series of events that led to the solving of the alleged armed robbery at the Stowaway in Ocean City three months earlier.
Taylor was a person of interest in the robbery from the beginning when Case and Jones first questioned Greer, the alleged victim-turned mastermind. Surveillance tapes from the hotel showed no evidence of what Greer described, including the entry of a masked man whom she could not begin to identify or even say with any surety whether he was white, black or Hispanic.
What the surveillance tapes did show, however, was Greer talking on her cell phone for about 45 minutes during the time just prior to the alleged armed robbery. When questioned about the call, Greer told the detectives she had been talking to her boyfriend, Taylor, who was somewhere in Virginia on his way back from Florida. However, the detectives, using various techniques, were able to determine Taylor had been in several places around Worcester County just prior to the reported robbery.
The detectives filed their reports and continued to investigate the case for the next several weeks, never losing sight of Taylor and Greer as possible conspirators in the robbery. Taylor was supposed to appear for a child support hearing in Snow Hill two weeks ago, and when he failed to appear, a warrant was sworn out for his arrest. Jones and Case had a note attached to the warrant stating if Taylor was picked up for any reason on the warrant, they were to be notified so they could question him about the robbery.
Upon his arrest last week, the detectives were alerted, and Taylor quickly told detectives it was Greer who planned and arranged the phony armed robbery.
'She jumped him, set him up,' Jones said on Wednesday. 'It was her plan to steal the money and she had the inside knowledge to pull it off. He told us she planned everything down to taping her to the chair. She was clearly the brain trust.'
Armed with Taylor's admission, OCPD detectives this week turned their attention to Greer, whose last known address is in Snow Hill but is now known to live on the western shore somewhere. On Wednesday afternoon, Case and Jones were awaiting a warrant for Greer's arrest, but they had already contacted the suspect. Greer has hired an attorney and the detectives fully expect her to come to Worcester County or Ocean City to turn herself in.
Last Friday, Taylor was served with a warrant for his involvement in the Stowaway robbery including theft over $500, conspiracy for theft over $500 and false statement to an officer. The felony armed robbery charges were not pursued because there was no evidence Taylor used a gun in the commission of the crime.
It remains likely Greer will face similar charges when she turns herself in and is taken into custody. Meanwhile, Taylor faces a wealth of serious charges related to the incident that led to his arrest last week including first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and reckless endangerment.