Resort Cyber Burglars Convicted
SNOW HILL - Two Dundalk men arrested in April in connection with a rash of burglaries in the resort last winter after detectives turned their cyber-savvy techniques against them appeared in Circuit Court for separate trials last week and ended up with two different outcomes including jail time for one and probation for the other.
In early April, OCPD detectives were investigating multiple burglaries that had been carried out in different locations throughout the resort beginning in January. Investigators began to notice several of the cases had similar characteristics and that in most, flat-screen televisions and other high-end items had been the target.
OCPD detectives began to suspect whoever was responsible for the break-ins and thefts might be trying to sell the stolen items on-line and conducted several Internet searches for the items on popular sites such as craigslist.com, for example. As a result, resort detectives were able to obtain exact matches for the stolen items being offered for sale on the Internet by individuals in the Baltimore County area.
OCPD detectives were able to track the craigslist.com sale postings by using the seller's email address and were able to track the seller's email address through myspace.com. OCPD detectives exchanged emails with the suspects by acting as potential buyers for the goods until they were able to positively identify the suspects as Nathan Christopher Scheufele, 22, and Allen Dale Garman, 34, both of Dundalk. They were eventually arrested.
During post-arrest interviews with the suspects, detectives essentially obtained confessions from Scheufele and Garman and also learned how they carried out the theft scheme.
According to police, Scheufele and Garman used the Internet to search for Ocean City area rental properties that included virtual tours so they could see which units had high-end electronics and other valuable items in them. Then, posing as prospective seasonal renters, Scheufele and Garman would schedule an appointment to see the rental property and return later and burglarize the rental properties.
On Tuesday, Scheufele pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but six months suspended. Two days later, Garman pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to two years in jail, all of which was suspended. He was placed on probation and fined.