CREDIT CARD SCAM AFFECTS OCEAN CITY BUSINESSES AND CITIZENS

scam-alert(July 31, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is advising citizens of a recent cyber-attack that compromised the security of numerous credit card processing companies nationwide. One of the victims of the security breach includes an out-of-state company that has contracts with numerous Ocean City businesses, primarily restaurants and bars.

 

Businesses that were affected were compromised from June 2 until July 9, 2014; however, those systems are now secure. The United States Secret Service is currently investigating this case.

 

Citizens are strongly encouraged to check your bank statement to ensure that you are not a victim of this cyber-crime scam. Any citizen that believes their information may have been compromised should contact their bank or credit card issuer immediately.

 

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CITIZENS REMINDED OF SKATEBOARDING ORDINANCE

(July 28, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department would like to remind citizens of the skateboarding ordinance in Ocean City as there have been an increasing number of ordinance violations in recent weeks.

Citizens are reminded that skateboarding on public property is prohibited within Ocean City between April 1 and October 1. Citizens can, however, skateboard on the boardwalk between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day during the summer season. The Ocean Bowl Skate Park, located at 3rd Street and St. Louis Avenue, is also available for skateboarders to enjoy daily from 9:30 a.m. until dark for a small fee.

In October 2012, Ocean City Mayor and City Council approved an amendment to the town’s skateboarding ordinance which gave skateboarders the ability to ride on the boardwalk during the same time that bicycles were allowed. This gave skateboarders a place to ride other than the skate park in the summer. During the winter months, October through March, the ordinance is relaxed and skateboarding is permitted throughout the city.

Anyone with questions about the skateboarding ordinance is encouraged to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6610.

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OCPD ARREST LAUREL, DE MAN FOR ASSAULT

Daniels_Dwayne

Dwayne A. Daniels

(July 28, 2014) – On July 28, 2014, at approximately 12:35 a.m. an Ocean City Police Public Safety Aide was stationary at 48th Street and Coastal Highway when she saw a female laying on the median of Coastal Highway. The Public Safety Aide and two of the victim’s friends moved the victim to a safe place and learned that she had suffered injuries from an assault.

Officers quickly responded and the investigation revealed that the victim had been struck with a glass bottle by an individual later identified as Dwayne A. Daniels, 38, of Laurel, DE. Daniels and the victim were in a vehicle with mutual friends and began to argue when Daniels became aggressive, hit the victim with a glass bottle and attempted to strangle her. The victim was able to escape from the vehicle while it was stopped.

Officers relayed a description of Daniels to Ocean City Communications as well as security personnel in the area. Shortly after, a security guard saw Daniels and was able to stop him and flag down an officer passing by who arrested Daniels.

Daniels was charged by Ocean City police with first degree assault, second degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $50,000 bond.

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OCPD NARCOTICS UNIT CONCLUDES TWO-WEEK DRUG INVESTIGATION

Markis O. Leonard

Markis O. Leonard

(July 16, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department Narcotics Unit concluded a two-week drug investigation with the arrest of a Selbyville, Delaware man on Saturday, July 12.

Earlier this month, detectives received a tip from a citizen indicating possible drug activity in the area of 141st Street and Lighthouse Avenue. During the investigation, detectives learned that Markis O. Leonard, 28, of Selbyville, DE was residing at the residence in question.

As a result of their investigation, detectives discovered enough evidence to obtain a search and seizure warrant for Leonard, as well as his vehicle.  Members of the Narcotics Unit executed the warrant on July 12, 2014 at approximately 12:45 p.m. after conducting a traffic stop on Leonard’s vehicle. During a search of Leonard, officers located over 170 bags of heroin and over $3,100 in U.S. currency.

Ocean City police have charged Leonard with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Leonard was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $50,000 bail.

The Ocean City Police Department would like to thank Ocean City citizens for submitting crime tips that help make Ocean City a safer place. Citizens are encouraged to continue to contact the Crime Tip Hotline whenever criminal activity is suspected by calling 410-520-5136 or emailing crimetips@oceancitymd.gov.

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PHILADELPHIA MAN ARRESTED AFTER AN EXTENSIVE SEARCH THROUGH OC

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Weldon C. Lucas

(July 10, 2014) – Ocean City Police have arrested a man from Philadelphia, PA after a routine traffic stop led to an extensive search and a burglary investigation lasting over four hours.

On July 7, 2014, at approximately 4 p.m. Ocean City police on uniformed vehicle patrol conducted a traffic stop in the area of Philadelphia Avenue and 32nd Street for a seatbelt violation and an expired registration plate. During the traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle stated that he did not have a valid driver’s license and gave false identification information.

When officers asked the driver, later identified as Weldon C. Lucas III, 38, to step out of the vehicle, Lucas fled from the scene on foot and began running westbound across Philadelphia Avenue until officers lost sight of him. Additional officers responded to the area and were unable to locate Lucas. During the investigation, officers determined that Lucas had a suspended driver’s license and also had multiple warrants out for his arrest from the Philadelphia Police Department.

Multiple members of the OCPD, including detectives from the Major Crimes Division and Special Enforcement Unit, as well as patrol officers, continued to actively search for Lucas. At approximately 8:30 p.m. police located and arrested Lucas in the area of 82nd Street and the beach.

Through investigation, detectives learned that Lucas had burglarized a condo unit after he initially fled from police and stole a bicycle and clothing items to disguise himself.

Ocean City Police have charged Lucas with multiple burglary and theft charges in addition to various traffic violations. Lucas declined to be seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and has been transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

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THREE ARRESTED AFTER SHORT PURSUIT THROUGH DOWNTOWN OCEAN CITY

7-8-14 Drug Stop(July 8, 2014) – On July 2, 2014, at approximately 11:45 p.m. Ocean City officers working in a plain clothes capacity noticed a possible noise violation originating from a vehicle in the Inlet Lot. Minutes later, uniformed officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop in the area of Baltimore Avenue and South 1st Street when the vehicle subsequently fled north on Baltimore Avenue.

The vehicle then travelled west on Worcester Street, continued south on Philadelphia Avenue and finally stopped in a parking lot in the area of Baltimore Avenue and South 1st Street. At that time, the driver, later identified as Marcos W. Ortlip, 21, of Millsboro, DE, quickly jumped out of the vehicle and was placed under arrest for fleeing. Three additional passengers in the vehicle were also detained at that time.

During the investigation, officers found that the driver and two passengers were in possession of controlled dangerous substances and were subsequently arrested. They were later identified as Brandon R. Garrison, 31, of Dagsboro, DE, and Christina P. Boone, 23, of Millsboro, DE. The third passenger was released at the scene. Officers located 18 bags of heroin, in addition to marijuana and crack cocaine during a search of the vehicle and suspects. Officers also seized over $650 in US currency.

Ortlip, Garrison and Boone have each been charged by Ocean City police with multiple drug possession and distribution charges. Ortlip was also cited with multiple traffic violations. All three suspects were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner. Ortlip is currently being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building on $25,000 bond. Garrison is also being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building on $40,000 bond. Boone was released on her own recognizance.

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UNDERCOVER DRUG ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS SUCCESSFUL YET AGAIN IN OC

(July 8, 2014) – Recently, the Ocean City Police Criminal Investigation Division and Narcotics Unit, with assistance from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team, the Maryland State Police and the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, conducts multiple drug enforcement operations at various locations throughout Ocean City in an effort to remove drugs from the streets of the community.

These undercover operations led to 33 undercover drug transactions and 45 drug distribution arrests. In addition to 45 arrests, six of those individuals were wanted by other agencies. During the undercover operations, detectives seized numerous drugs including marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine salts, prescription medications and MDMA. Detectives also seized three weapons and over $3,000 in U.S. currency.

The Ocean City Police Department would like to thank the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team and the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force for their assistance in the undercover operations.  The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team consists of members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police and the Pocomoke Police Department. The Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force includes members of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Salisbury Police Department and Fruitland Police Department. The OCPD is very appreciative of the continued partnership with all law enforcement agencies in our area.

Citizens are reminded that undercover officers continue to conduct drug enforcement operations throughout the year to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors. Drug activity often leads to more serious criminal activity and the OCPD Narcotics Unit is dedicated to keeping the citizens of Ocean City safe.

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OCPD WARNING CITIZENS OF TELEPHONE SCAM

scam-alert(June 24, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is warning citizens about a current telephone scam that has recently been reported in Ocean City. The scam involves unsolicited calls from individuals who claim to be a member of local law enforcement or a Federal agent notifying the citizen that they have unpaid parking or traffic citations. The caller will become very hostile and harass or threaten the citizen with jail time or fines in order to obtain personal data and debit/credit card information from them.

The scammers will also use a tactic known as “caller ID spoofing” which falsifies the telephone number and name that appears on the citizen’s caller ID. Other nearby jurisdictions have reported that the scammers have even used the name of actual police officers in order to appear legitimate.

The Ocean City Police Department reminds citizens to never provide debit or credit card information over the phone to unsolicited callers. Government agencies, including law enforcement, will not ask for your card number over the phone. Citizens who suspect that they have provided their bank card information to a scammer should contact their financial institution immediately.

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FIVE NEW OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM POLICE ACADEMY

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Ofc. James Bodine, Ofc. Tonya Gower, Chief Ross Buzzuro, Ofc. Julianne O’Toole, Ofc. Gary Cooper, Jr., Ofc. Kyle Hayes, Jr.

(June 18, 2014) – On June 17, 2014, five new Ocean City Police Department officers graduated from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy’s 72nd police academy class. The newest Ocean City officers are Officers James Bodine, Gary Cooper, Jr., Tonya Gower, Kyle Hayes, Jr., and Julianne O’Toole.

Officers were formally recognized as certified police officers of the Ocean City Police Department after 24 weeks of intense training. The recruit class stemmed from various law enforcement agencies throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Graduates from the OCPD consistently earn top honors from the police academy and these new officers held true to that tradition. Officers Bodine, Cooper Gower and O’Toole each earned the Physical Fitness Award. The Firearms Proficiency Award was given to Officers Bodine, Gower and O’Toole. Also, Officer Cooper earned the only Academic Achievement Award in the recruitment class earning a 93 percent overall score.

“We strive to provide the Ocean City community with the best and brightest officers that we can find,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “I truly believe that our five newest officers exemplify that goal. Each of them are sure to be tremendous servants for our residents and visitors.”

After their graduation from the police academy, the new officers will enter into a nine week field training program. During this time, they will hone the skills they have acquired in the police academy under the direct supervision of a veteran OCPD field training officer. They will be routinely evaluated and critiqued on their performance and will train with the various shifts and divisions that make up the OCPD.

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VIGILANT RESIDENT LEADS OFFICERS TO BURGLARY SUSPECTS

6-16-14 Burglaries(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.

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