WOC Burglary Suspects Nabbed
WEST OCEAN CITY – Two men were arrested on burglary charges after allegedly breaking into a West Ocean City convenience store and doughnut shop last week.
On April 22, two men later identified as Shane William Lewis, 25, of Berlin, and Eric Steven Parkinson, 20, of Delmar, allegedly broke into the Marlin Market and Fractured Prune stores on Route 611 in West Ocean City and stole the cash register from the Fractured Prune. A review of surveillance tapes in the stores helped police identify Lewis and Parkinson as the suspects.
Both were arrested later in the day on April 22 and were both charged with two counts each of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree burglary, theft over $500, conspiracy to commit theft over $500 and malicious destruction of property. Lewis and Parkinson were taken before a District Court Commissioner in Ocean City and were ordered held in the Worcester County Jail on $7,500 bonds.
High Speed Chase
Yields Two Fugitives
BERLIN – Two men are in custody this week on a variety of charges after leading Maryland State Police (MSP) troopers on a high-speed chase through Worcester and Wicomico counties early Sunday morning.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Sunday, a MSP trooper from the Berlin barrack stopped a 1996 Pontiac for speeding in the area of Route 50 and Caleb Rd. in Worcester County. Before the trooper made contact with the occupants, the vehicle sped away, touching off a high-speed pursuit. The trooper clocked the Pontiac at speeds between 110-115 mph as the chase moved from Route 50 in Worcester County into Wicomico County.
A Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy successfully deployed spike strips deflating the vehicle’s tires and the vehicle pursuit ended along the shoulder of Route 50 near the Route 113 bypass near Salisbury. However, the chase didn’t end there as the two suspects, later identified as Terrence Terone White, Jr. and Antoine Mandrew Sturgis, left the vehicle while it was still in motion and fled on foot. The pair was apprehended a short time later without further incident.
A background check revealed Sturgis was wanted on a fugitive warrant in Delaware for failing to register as a sex offender. A background check on White revealed he was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Wicomico County Circuit Court. A search of the vehicle revealed a shotgun loaded with buckshot, which had been reported stolen during a burglary the previous evening and was being investigated by the Salisbury Police Department.
Sturgis was ordered held without bond, while White was ordered held on a $15,000 bond. Charges are pending for White regarding the stolen shotgun.
Fake Security Guard
Ordered To Serve Time
SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man arrested last June after entering a resort hotel room claiming to be a security guard before being found a short time later with crack cocaine was found guilty this week in Circuit Court to fourth-degree burglary and possession of crack cocaine and was sentenced to a net four years in jail.
Last June 23, OCPD officers responded to the Seabonnay Motel on 27th Street for a reported burglary of a motel room. Upon arrival, police interviewed a witness who told them a man claiming to be a hotel security guard awakened her while she was sleeping and claimed to be a security guard.
When the victim questioned the suspect, later identified as Robert Louis Costen III, 27, of Snow Hill, he left the room and fled from the motel. The victim contacted the motel management who assured her Costen did not work for the motel. A description of Costen, who was wearing a white tanktop and jeans at the time of the incident, was broadcast and he was picked up a short time later sitting in a car near 12th Street and Wilmington Lane.
Costen was positively identified as the man who entered the room at the Seabonnay and he was taken into custody. At the time of his initial contact with police, Costen gave a fake name, but his driver’s license was recovered during a search, as was an amount of crack cocaine in sufficient quantity to indicate intent to distribute.
Costen was charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary as well as associated felony and misdemeanor drug charges and theft. This week in Circuit Court, Costen pleaded not guilty to the charges, but was later found guilty of fourth-degree burglary and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Costen was sentenced to three years in jail for the former and four years in jail for the latter. His sentences will be served concurrently, netting him four years in jail. He was also given credit for 163 days served while awaiting trial.
90 Days For Underwear Thief
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested in March for stealing underwear and other items from the Dollar General store was found guilty this week of theft less than $100 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Around 7:30 p.m. on March 4, Berlin Police were dispatched to the Dollar General store for a reported suspicious person on the premises. Upon arrival, the officers met with the suspect, identified as Walter Younie, 59, of Berlin, who consented to a search of his person. The search revealed stolen underwear concealed on his person and Younie was arrested on a theft charge.
Younie then asked the officers to tell his friends he was being taken into custody. As the officers were speaking with Younie’s friends, they observed in plain view more stolen property in the vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle told police the goods belonged to Younie, but an investigation linked the stolen items in the vehicle to Miles Morris, 26, of Elkton, Md. Morris was also arrested on theft charges.
This week in District Court in Snow Hill, Younie pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $200. Morris was scheduled to appear in District Court last week for his part in the thefts, but the disposition of his case was not available.
Fine For DUI Snow Chase
OCEAN CITY – A Towson man arrested in March on drunk-driving and other charges after a long pursuit on a snow covered Coastal Highway pleaded guilty last week to driving under the influence and was fined $500.
Around 1 a.m. on March 9, Ocean City police officers in the field received a broadcast to be on the lookout for a suspect in a hit-and-run collision that just occurred. The report stated the suspect vehicle was traveling south on Coastal Highway and that the taxi it allegedly just hit was following in close pursuit giving updates on the suspect’s position in the area of 59th Street.
An OCPD officer picked up the pursuit in the area of 45th Street and pulled up next to the taxi, rolled down his window and asked the driver if the car in front was the one that hit him, to which the taxi driver nodded yes. Meanwhile, snow continued to fall and about three inches covered the roadway. Another OCPD officer picked up the pursuit further south on Coastal Highway and both police cars had activated emergency lights and sirens.
According to police reports, the suspect vehicle continued south and failed to stop for red traffic signals at 34th and 30th streets before being intercepted by another police car in the area of 28th Street. The suspect vehicle, driven by Kurt Joseph Kleis, 47, of Towson, did finally stop in the middle lane of Coastal Highway near 28th Street, but when the pursuing officers got out of their cars to approach Kleis, he allegedly took off again heading south.
Kleis stopped again at 12th Street, but took off when police exited their vehicles and approached on foot. Kleis turned onto 12th Street and then headed north on Baltimore Ave. when the pursuit finally ended. Police struggled at first to get Kleis out of his car, but were eventually able to subdue him and cuff him after using some force. According to police reports, the officers noted the strong odor of alcohol coming from Kleis, and when the suspect was asked where he had been, he told them he was coming from an uptown bar and that he had consumed three or four drinks.
The arresting officer told Kleis he was being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the hit-and-run accident with the taxi cab and attempting to elude police, to which the suspect allegedly responded “I’m being arrested for what?” and “Why are you guys doing this? I don’t understand.”
Kleis was taken to police headquarters at 65th Street for processing but refused to submit to a breath test. He told police he wanted to call his lawyer, a request they granted, but Kleis allegedly first called a man known only as Mike. When he asked again, police told him he could only call his lawyer, but the second time they allowed Kleis to use his phone, he allegedly called his wife.
When the officers interrupted the call and hung up Kleis’ phone, he allegedly said “Ha Ha, now my wife knows where I am,” according to police reports. Meanwhile, police contacted the taxi driver who confirmed it was Kleis’ vehicle that had struck him.
Last week in District Court, Kleis pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was fined $500. The other charges were not prosecuted as a condition of the plea bargain.
Two Sentenced For Bar Fight
OCEAN CITY – Two men arrested in connection with a fight in a mid-town nightclub parking lot in March appeared for trial in District Court last week and received similar outcomes.
Larry Tyre, 27, of Berlin, was found guilty of disorderly conduct for his role in the fight at Fager’s Island parking lot on March 22 and was fined $300 and placed on probation for a year. Israel Smith, 37, of Berlin, was found guilty of obstructing and hindering and was fined $500. A third man arrested during the fray, Ivan Van Dorn, 25, of Salisbury, has not yet appeared for his court date.
Around 1:30 a.m. on March 22, an OCPD officer was dispatched to a reported assault in progress in the parking lot of Fager’s Island on 60th Street. Upon arrival, the officer observed a man later identified a Tyre, holding another man in a headlock while punching him repeatedly in the left side with a closed fist. A crowd had gathered around the fight when the police arrived.
The officer approached the fight, identified himself as the police and instructed Tyre to stop hitting the man. However, Tyre allegedly continued to strike the other man despite police orders. Finally, the officer resorted to pepper spray to subdue Tyre. The entire time police were struggling with Tyre, patrons of the establishment streamed outside and gathered around the scene, according to police reports.
The officer instructed Tyre to lie on the ground, but the suspect refused. The officer then resorted to an angle kick to Tyre’s lower leg, which got him face down on the ground and allowed police to handcuff him without further incident. Tyre was charged with disorderly conduct and affray.
While police were attempting to get the situation with Tyre under control, another suspect, later identified as Smith, interfered with the arrest. The officer was struggling with Tyre when Smith and group of females came behind him and starting yelling at the officer. The officer told Smith repeatedly to back off and stop interfering, but he kept coming back over and over, according to police reports.
After Smith approached a third time, all the while yelling and screaming, the officer managed to grab hold of him and place him under arrest. The group of females attempted to pull Smith away from police, but he was eventually subdued and handcuffed. Smith was charged with hindering an officer.
During the same incident, another officer arrived on the scene and observed a different man, later identified as Van Dorn, involved in a fight with bar security staff. The officer arrived and found a large crowd engaged in a fight near the entrance to the establishment with the bar’s security staff attempting to break it up and remove the combatants from the property. Van Dorn was eventually subdued on the ground by bar security staff and the OCPD officer arrived and took him into custody. Van Dorn was also charged with disorderly conduct.
Emergency Alert Test Tomorrow
BERLIN – On Saturday, May 2, Worcester County residents will again be hearing the emergency alert signals from their local fire sirens. Worcester County has taken this step to provide additional means to warn the surrounding communities of imminent danger and the need to tune to either radio, television or the internet for information in the event of emergencies.
Sirens are tested the first Saturday of each month. Residents will hear a steady alert tone sound at 10 a.m. for approximately one minute. Since the end of the Cold War, most serious threats to areas of the Eastern Shore have been weather related, and the emergency alert sirens have gone unused.
However, emergency alert sirens continue to be employed in tornado-prone areas of the country where they are used to warn residents that a tornado has been spotted and to take cover. The reinstitution of the emergency alert siren in Worcester County can be viewed as an additional form of early warning system to protect area residents in the event of a disaster.