OCEAN CITY, MD – (December 28, 2017): Ocean City Police have charged a Taneytown couple with 19 counts of theft, malicious destruction of property, and 4th degree burglary after officers recovered multiple brass fire standpipe valves earlier this month.
On December 2, 2017, officers began investigating the theft of a standpipe valve after a citizen reported suspicious behavior of two people in a white work van who claimed to be working on the condominium’s sprinkler system. When the caller made contact with the suspicious persons, they quickly fled the area, however; the caller was able to record a partial license plate tag number of the van.
Later that evening, officers encountered the vehicle and suspects, John A. Hurley, 37, and Amy Logsdon, 36, both of Taneytown, MD, matching the description of the standpipe valve theft. Officers approached Hurley, who was later identified by the caller, and conducted a probable cause search of the van. They located 10 brass standpipe valves, a brass fire hose valve and multiple tools.
With the assistance of the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office, dozens of properties were searched in order to identify victims. After a thorough investigation by the OCPD and OCFMO it was determined that seven locations throughout Ocean City were victims of the theft, with a total of 23 valves that were stolen.
A stand pipe valve allows fire personnel to quickly provide water from ground level to upper levels of a building. A missing valve from the fire standpipe system renders the system inoperative. Ocean City police are encouraging citizens and condominium associations to inspect their systems in an attempt to identify any missing valves.