The Ocean City Police Department is warning citizens about a current telephone scam targeting grandparents, parents and family members. The scam, which is fairly common, has several variations, but in the end involves a loved one who is in trouble and needs help getting out of an embarrassing or harmful situation.
Typically, the scammer will call the victim and claim to be their grandchild, child, niece or nephew, depending on what level of information they have on the family. The scammer will tell the family member that they are in trouble, indicating that they have been arrested and are in jail, and need help. In some cases, another scammer will interact with the victim via telephone, claiming to be a lawyer, a bail bondsman, a deputy or an official from a jail to further convince the victim the scam is legitimate. The scammer will then request money, sent to aWestern Unionoffice out of the area, in order to get them out of jail or whatever harmful situation the scam presents.
Ocean City Police have learned that scammers are accessing family knowledge, usually gained from the Internet, to make the scam more convincing. In addition, unlike most scams, the scammer does not have a foreign accident but often doesn’t resemble the voice of their family member. Often times, the scammers will blame the phone line or an illness that is making them sound different on the phone.
The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to never wire money to strangers or someone you haven’t met in person. Requests to wire money overseas or toCanadaare “red flag” signs that it’s a fraud. If you get a call like this, contact another family member, a trusted friend or your local police department. They can help you evaluate the situation and try to contact your loved one.
The Ocean City Police Department is warning citizens about a new phone scam in which someone claims to be a representative from a lottery company. In this scam, the caller tells the victim that before they can claim their prize they must pay a series of “transfer fees,” taxes or provide proof of their identity and/or details of their bank accounts or credit cards in order to receive their winnings.
The scammers, who require payment viaWestern Unionor MoneyGram, often obtain information about the victim to make the scam more believable. It is important to remember that scammers are able to easily access names and addresses of potential victims by spyware, viruses and other tools on the Internet.
The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to beware of scams. In this instance, remember:
You cannot win a legitimate lottery if you have not entered it.
Never provide personal identity information to a company or person you do not know.
Never wire funds viaWestern Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service to someone you do not know.
Don’t pay to collect winnings. If you have to pay to collect your winnings, you are not winning, you are buying. Legitimate lotteries don’t require you to pay a fee to collect your prize.
If you hold a winning lottery ticket, you notify the lottery. They do not notify you; not by email, not by phone and not by mail.
February is Teen Dating Violence (DV) Prevention and Awareness Month and the Ocean City Police Department is joining the national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships. Teen DV Month, which is now in its third year, joins organizations and individuals to highlight the need to educate young people about healthy relationships.
Dating abuse is a big problem affecting every community across the nation. According to the National Resource Centerfor Teen Dating Violence Awareness, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. In addition, nearly half of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behavior.
“Violent relationships in adolescence can put victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders or further domestic violence,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “Only 33 percent of teens who were in an abusive relationship told someone about the abuse and 81 percent of parents admit they don’t know if teen dating violence is an issue. The Ocean City Police Department is committed to raising awareness about teen dating violence and preventing the devastating cycle of abuse.”
The Ocean City Police Department is hoping to become one of the many organizations making a difference in preventing abuse and helping young victims. Currently, Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline have teamed up to offer the most comprehensive resource on the issue. For more information, or to find out where you can receive help, please visit loveisrespect.org.
This week the Ocean City Police Department is welcoming two new police K9 dogs. The new K9’s were picked up by their partners earlier this week from “Castle K9” in Mechanicsburg, PA. PFC Daniel Jacobs met his new partner “Jaxx” a 14-month-old Dutch Sheppard and PFC Michael Kelly met his new partner “Chibo,” a 12-month-old Sheppard mix.
The two new K9 teams will begin a four-week training program at the Castle K9 training center beginning February 23. They are expected to graduate from the program at the end of March and expected to be operational beginning in April.
Upon completion of the training both K9 dogs and their officer handlers will be certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association as patrol and drug detection police K9’s.
“Our K9 unit has always had a long standing tradition of excellence,” said Chief Bernadette A. DiPino. “I am excited about adding two new teams to our department and we know our citizens will enjoy meeting them in the future. Their skills in drug detection, tracking and searches are a great benefit to our officers and our community.”
The Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics unit recently concluded a nearly two-year undercover investigation with the criminal indictments of 34 individuals. The indictments, which included 91 charges of distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and 28 charges of conspiracy to distribute CDS, resulted in preset bonds totaling $4,555,000.
During the investigation, an Ocean City Police detective acting in a covert capacity started a legitimate taxicab company during which the detective acted as the owner/operator. The cab company, the “Tipsy Taxi,” had an actual official Town of Ocean City cab license and ran legitimate fares, in addition to the undercover operation.
On February 2, 2012, the Ocean City Police Department, along with the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, began apprehending the indicted suspects. During the course of three days, the law enforcement teams apprehended 22 of 34 individuals. In addition to those apprehended, four of the suspects were already incarcerated on unrelated charges. The arrest warrants for the remaining wanted individuals who are no longer living in the Ocean City area will be turned over to the Maryland State Apprehension Team (MSAT).
“I commend our narcotics unit for their investigative initiative,” said Chief Bernadette A. DiPino. “I also want to commend the undercover detective involved in this operation. The self sacrifice and dedication to this lengthy investigation demonstrated incredible commitment and reflects great credit upon them and all of the law enforcement officers involved.”
During the operation, the Ocean City Police Department seized two vehicles, a stolen firearm and $985 in cash. “This operation would not have been possible without our partners at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Worcester County State’s Attorney,” Chief DiPino said. “Sheriff Mason, State’s Attorney Oglesby and members of their agencies, have helped in not only keeping drugs off the streets of Ocean City, but Worcester County as a whole and continue to make our community a safe place to live, work and visit.”
On February 7, 2012, at approximately2:30 p.m., a citizen returned the missing beach umbrella to the OCPD after it was found abandoned still in the original packaging at a location near the Pour House Saloon in downtown Ocean City.
At this time, Ocean City Police do not consider the citizen who returned the item to be a suspect. Police recently received the image of this unknown male person of interest. Police are asking for the public’s assistance to help locate and identify this person. This image was taken during the “Baby Ava” fund-raising event onJanuary 28, 2012.
Police are still attempting to identify the person of interest captured by the Pour House Saloon video surveillance system as well.
Ocean City Police are continuing to ask that anyone with any information about the identity of the man seen in the surveillance footage or who may have any information about the theft to please contact OCPD- PFC John Spicer at 410-520-5295. You do not have to provide your name.
The Ocean City Police Department’s Narcotics Unit concluded a nearly two-year undercover investigation this week with the indictments of 34 individuals for 91 charges of distribution of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and 28 charges of conspiracy to distribute CDS. During the investigation, an Ocean City Police officer acting in a covert capacity started a legitimate taxicab company in which he acted as the owner/operator of the company.
Press conference to discuss the Ocean City Police Department‘s nearly two year undercover operation.
Monday, February 13, 2012 – 10:00 a.m.
Ocean City Public Safety Building, 1st Floor Lobby, 6501 Coastal Highway,
Ocean City, Maryland 21842
Chief Bernadette A. DiPino, Ocean City Police Department
Sheriff Reggie Mason, Worcester County Sheriff’s
Worcester Count States Attorney Beau Oglesby,Worcester CountyState’s Attorney’s Office
Interviews will be available after news conference. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Ocean City Police Department’s Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395 or 410-723-6665.
On February 4, 2012, narcotics detectives from the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team and Ocean City Police served a search and seizure warrant at 115 “A” Newport Bay Drive, in reference to an ongoing narcotics investigation involving the illegal distribution of prescription narcotics and Phencyclidine (PCP).
During the execution of the warrant a suspect identified as Robin Dale Smith, 54 of Ocean City, was located inside the unit and arrested for distribution of prescription narcotic medication and PCP. A search of the house revealed:
Large amount of various prescription narcotic pills
4 vials withPCP residue and associated paraphernalia
Straws with pill residue used to snort drug
CDS smoking pipes
Smith was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and released after posting a $25,000 bond.
Narcotics investigators are awaiting chemical analysis of some of the suspected drugs recovered during the search warrant. Additional charges are pending in this case.
On February 2, 2012 at approximately 12:30 p.m., Ocean City Police responded to 501 South Baltimore Avenue, the Pour House Saloon for a theft that had previously occurred.
Police met with the manager/owner who advised that on January 28, 2012, the Pour House Saloon had a fundraiser for car crash victim baby Ava Delricco.
Approximately 200 hundred people attended the benefit. During this benefit there was a silent charity auction. The management reported that one of the auction items had been stolen. The item was described as a large canvas, red and maroon 6-foot-tall Molson beer beach umbrella with a wood pole. The beach umbrella has an approximate retail value of $125.
The Pour House Saloon video surveillance system recorded a person of interest, described as a white male wearing a dark t-shirt and white baseball cap, with a goatee, carry the umbrella out of the business.
Ocean City Police are asking anyone with any information about the identity of the male seen in the surveillance footage or who may have any information about the theft to please contact OCPD- PFC John Spicer at 410-520-5295. You do not have to provide your name.
This week, the Ocean City Police Department will be joining other law enforcement agencies on theEastern Shore, such as the Worcester County Sheriff and the Wicomico County Sheriff, by beginning operational deployment of TASER equipment. Prior to implementing the TASER equipment, the Ocean City Police Department spent hours developing policy, adopting procedures and extensively training in the use of the TASER.
In addition, the Ocean City Police Department received guidance from other law enforcement agencies that have successfully implemented use of TASERS along with TASER itself. “Studies have shown that the availability of a TASER can lead to the reduction in injuries to both a police officer and a suspect,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “We believe that having the availability of a TASER will not only reduce injuries of our officers and suspects, but will deter and reduce violent crime in Ocean City. This is a proactive and positive step in the evolution of our police department and we are thankful to have the opportunity and the support from the Ocean City community.”
In correlation with training of police officers, the OCPD wants to keep the community informed about this new TASER program. The OCPD is planning an informational symposium for Ocean City residents, businesses and members of the media. The symposium will address various topics dealing with the use of the new TASER system, including departmental policy and procedure. In addition to providing information, the symposium will give citizens the opportunity to ask questions about the program, as well as view a demonstration of the equipment.
The Ocean City Police Department believes that a well-informed community is the best form of crime prevention. The OCPD will be conducting the symposium onFebruary 9, 2012, from noon to 2 p.m.at the Ocean City Northside Park Recreation Center meeting room. For more information about this symposium, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395.