06/23/2022 | Cops and Courts – June 24, 2022
Storeroom doors broken down
OCEAN CITY — An Ohio man was arrested last weekend after he allegedly kicked down doors and robbed several businesses on the boardwalk.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a Boardwalk restaurant for a reported break and enter. According to police reports, a restaurant employee arrived at work to find the back door vandalized and the lock broken.
The officer met the employee, who said he arrived around 5:47 a.m. and found the door to a hotel storage room adjacent to the restaurant where food and other supplies were kept had been kicked in. The employee told the officer that the storage room was always locked, according to police reports.
Officers contacted hotel employees to gain access to CCTV footage. Footage showed a suspect entering the hotel property and wandering around, according to police reports. Investigation found the man, later identified as Caleb Short, 20, of Southwest, Ohio, walked into the hotel office and asked reception staff to allow him to use the phone to contact his girlfriend, according to police reports.
Hotel workers recall Short asking them to use the house phone to contact his girlfriend and at least three calls were made. Employees recognized Short as the man who asked to use the phone from the surveillance video. Hotel workers called back Short’s girlfriend describing her location as Airbnb at 2n/a Street in front of a smoking room.
Officers knew the location and responded to a condo building there. Police presented a photo to the woman who answered the condo door and she said, “Oh yeah, that’s Caleb,” according to police reports. Short was inside the condo unit and was detained. He was then charged with malicious destruction of property.
Meanwhile, another OCPD officer responded to another reported break and enter into the storeroom of the beach bar on the promenade. Security footage revealed Short entering a storage room owned by a hotel group, which provided access to the beach bar storage room. Security footage revealed that Short allegedly kicked two storage doors during the process, according to police reports.
The investigation revealed that Short first broke into the cellar of the beach bar before breaking into the cellar of the restaurant. At the Mexican restaurant Short entered in the second incident, a bottle of tequila worth more than $47 was stolen, according to the restaurant’s inventory. Short was charged with multiple counts of burglary and malicious destruction of property.
Tow truck being chased by a truck
OCEAN CITY — A Beltsville, Md. man was arrested last weekend after he allegedly drove a stolen vehicle out of a tow truck attempting to retrieve it for its owner.
At approximately 5:40 p.m. last Thursday, officers from the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) were dispatched to a hotel at 5e Street for a reported hit-and-run motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, officers encountered a tow truck operator who told police that U-Haul contacted his company to recover an abandoned rental vehicle, according to police reports.
The tow truck operator reportedly told police he had arrived at the hotel to collect the truck, strapped it to his tow truck and was ready to go. However, the tow truck driver was approached by three unidentified women and a suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Dodi Allotey of Beltsville, Maryland.
According to police reports, Allotey became aggressive and punched the passenger side window of the tow truck. The tow truck driver told Allotey he was towing the truck because U-Haul was reporting it as abandoned. Allotey then got into the abandoned vehicle and pulled him out of the tow truck, where he had been fully strapped in via ratchet straps, according to police reports.
Officers contacted U-Haul and the manager said the company wanted to report the truck as stolen. The value of the truck is $34,600. At the scene, officers observed Allotey walking away from the hotel at 5e Street and Washington Lane and he was arrested. When officers attempted to handcuff Allotey, he reportedly began to back away and resist arrest.
Officers reviewed security footage captured by the hotel, which revealed Allotey entering the stolen vehicle while it was attached to the tow truck and driving off, damaging straps and other equipment in the process. Based on security footage, testimony from the tow truck driver, and the fact that the officer observed Allotey driving the stolen vehicle that passed him as he drove to the scene, Allotey was charged with theft. motor vehicle and malicious destruction of property. A search of Allotey revealed the keys to the stolen U-Haul vehicle in his pants pocket, according to police reports.
Officers located the stolen vehicle in a hotel parking lot on Avenue Saint-Louis and the tow truck driver was told he could retrieve it. The tow truck driver told officers when he first located the truck at 5 a.m.e Street, he had recovered a dog from the stolen vehicle. The tow truck driver notified police when he pulled the dog out he collapsed from hydration. The tow truck driver told officers he nearly broke a window to get the dog out of the vehicle.
As Allotey was in possession of the stolen vehicle and its keys, it was determined that he could have provided the dog with water and food, and additional charges of animal cruelty were added.
Arrest of a handgun after a chase
OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested last week on a handgun charge after he allegedly fled from police and threw the gun behind a wooden fence.
At approximately 12:15 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling downtown reportedly observed two men running north on Wilmington Lane near 3rd Street. The officer observed one of the men, later identified as Codi Refi, 28, of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, running awkwardly with his right arm stiff and rigid and his right hand appearing to hold something in his belt, according to the police reports.
Refi observed the officer and stopped running. However, he continued to hold his hand to an object in his belt. The officer observed a bulge in the area of Refi’s waistband that was not in the pocket area of his sweatpants. The bulge was not compatible with a cellphone or wallet, according to police reports.
Refi and the other man slowly walked away from the officer’s position, looking over their shoulders, according to police reports. The pair then suddenly began sprinting down Wilmington Lane again and Refi continued his stealthy movements with the object in his belt as he fled the area. Based on his observations, the officer believed Refi had a handgun in his belt, according to police reports.
OCPD officers observed Refi in sector 6e Street and Wilmington Lane near a wooden fence in a position as if he had just jumped over the fence, according to police reports. He ran again but was eventually detained by OCPD officers. Officers searched Refi with negative results and there was no longer a bulge in his belt, according to police reports.
OCPD officers briefly lost sight of Refi, so it was determined that if he had a weapon, he could have disposed of it before being detained. An OCPD officer drove to the area of the wooden fence where Refi had been seen and located a .38 caliber handgun with an attached laser laying in the dirt behind the fence. The weapon was found near where Refi had been seen jumping the fence. Refi was arrested and charged with carrying and carrying a handgun on his person and other weapons charges.
Suspended sentence for ransacking residence
OCEAN CITY — A local man, arrested in April after ransacking a residence and stealing items, pleaded guilty last week to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to 30 days, all suspended.
At approximately 5 p.m. on April 7, an officer from the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to a residence on the 33rd Street for a reported theft that had occurred. The officer reportedly met with the complainant, who informed her that she was in the process of evicting her tenant, identified as 71-year-old Robert Hill from Berlin.
The landlord provided documents indicating that Hill had to vacate the property by April 7, according to court reports. The victim said she went with her friends to the residence to clean it up, but noticed that Hill had not yet left the premises.
The victim invited OCPD officers into the unit to show them the damage and indicate what items had been stolen. The victim showed officers a back room that she had locked to store other personal items. The door had a large hole and the doorknob was broken, according to police reports. The victim provided the police with a detailed account of everything damaged or stolen, including a picture frame, the broken bedroom door, an oak kitchen table that had been left outside, a refrigerator with peeling paint and all shelves. missing, two missing closet doors and a missing bunk bed mattress, among others.
The victim also told police she had an antique wooden clock in the unit that Hill allegedly stole. The victim was able to provide evidence that Hill attempted to sell the antique clock on Facebook Marketplace. OCPD officers located Hill soon after in the Worcester Street area and placed him under arrest for theft and malicious destruction of property.
Last week, Hill pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, suspended. He was then placed on unsupervised probation for 18 months.