(June 16, 2014) – On June 15, 2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m. Ocean City officers were dispatched to the area of Teal Drive in reference to suspicious circumstances after a vigilant resident approached a nearby Public Safety Aide working an OC Air Show traffic detail. The resident told the Public Safety Aide that he had seen three suspicious individuals peering into area homes.
Upon arrival, officers located a vehicle in which the resident believed the suspicious individuals were travelling. Through the initial investigation, officers determined the vehicle to be stolen out of Montgomery County, Maryland. The officers quickly located three of the suspicious individuals who were seen exiting the vehicle and each was arrested for theft of the motor vehicle. These suspects, all from Washington, DC, were identified as: Christopher H. Bussey, 25; Dominique A. Burton, 19; and Shinecia D. Mercer, 19. An Investigator with the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office also assisted with the investigation and located and arrested a fourth suspect, a female, which officers linked to the stolen vehicle in the area of 20th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. She was later identified as Heather A. Haire, 25, also of Washington, DC.
While officers were on scene, two residents reported burglaries to their homes in the area of Teal Drive where electronics and jewelry totaling approximately $60,000, and several other items had been stolen. Many of these items were either recovered from the stolen vehicle, in the suspect’s possession or discarded by the suspects in the area. During the subsequent investigation, officers developed a fifth suspect and still had not located some of the electronics and stolen jewelry.
At approximately 6:40 p.m., officers responded to the area of 32nd Street and Baltimore Avenue for a report of a stolen vehicle. Believing these incidents may be related, officers quickly broadcast lookouts for the fifth suspect and the stolen vehicle to surrounding jurisdictions.
At approximately 9 p.m., Ocean City Detectives learned that the Maryland State Police and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a vehicle pursuit near Hebron, Maryland involving the vehicle that had recently been reported stolen from 32nd Street. The pursuit ended in a single vehicle crash. The driver was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the stolen vehicle was later identified as Joshua Robinson-Gripper, 22, also of Washington, DC. Additionally, inside the stolen vehicle Ocean City Detectives recovered electronics and jewelry stolen during the burglaries.
Ocean City Police have charged Bussey, Burton, Haire, Mercer and Robinson-Gripper with multiple theft and burglary charges. All four suspects were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner. Bussey, Burton, Haire and Mercer are currently being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building on $75,000 bond. Robinson-Gripper is being held by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office on $100,000 bond.