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Store burglary suspect jailed

Shawn M. Miles, 21, of Lexington Park remained in St. Mary’s jail in lieu of 10 percent of $5,000 bond after a court hearing this week on burglary and theft charges filed by police investigating a break-in reported Tuesday at a grocery off Great Mills Road.

Police responded to an alarm that night at the Food Lion store, and found its two front sliding doors had been shattered, along with a locked case where cartons of cigarettes were missing, according to court papers filed by St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy Trevor Teague.

The officer found Miles walking past the store, with shards of glass on his clothes and blood on his hand, charging papers state. A store manager told police that five cartons of Marlboro Gold cigarettes had been stolen, and estimated the damages at $2,600.

Burglary, theft alleged at home

Daisaunn A. Culpepper, 19, of Lexington Park was released Wednesday on $7,500 bond after his arrest on burglary and theft charges filed by police investigating a break-in at a home off Medley’s Neck Road south of Leonardtown.

Police responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood on the morning of Jan. 10 briefly detained a motorist leaving the area, court papers state, and police found two backpacks a short time later on the side of a road. One pack contained a laptop computer, video game system and the motorist’s school work from Great Mills High School, court papers state, and the other pack held a video game system and a Taurus .40-caliber handgun.

The motorist was stopped again, court papers state, and a black ski mask and pair of black gloves were seized from him before he was taken to the sheriff’s office, where he told detectives that he had driven Culpepper and another suspect to the neighborhood to commit a burglary.

During the investigation, John Wayne Christy, the owner of the home, and his roommate, Eric Jason Karouch, told detectives that they were the owners of the missing property, and that two watches, a bottle of Bacardi rum and 40 oxycodone pills also were missing, according to a statement of probable cause filed by detective Richard McCoy.

Culpepper went to the sheriff’s office on Tuesday and denied any involvement or knowledge of the crime, court papers state. No other charges have been reported from the investigation.

Reward offered for tips in cases

Citizens with information about unsolved crimes in St. Mary’s can collect a cash reward by calling St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers 24 hours a day at 301-475-3333. They can withhold their name and later collect their reward through a number-identification system.

The Crime Solvers program assists law enforcement in solving open investigations that may not have been closed without the extra incentive of anonymity and an offer of a reward, providing the information leads to an arrest or indictment.

The Crime Solvers board of directors meets at 10 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the county’s Northern Senior Center in Charlotte Hall. To be considered for membership on the board, attend a meeting or call the Crime Solvers chairperson at 301-884-5417 for details.

Contributions to the Crime Solvers reward fund can be mailed to St. Mary’s Crime Solvers Inc. at P.O. Box 221, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.

Sheriff welcomes text-message tips

Cell phones and other handheld communication devices can be used to send text messages with tips for the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, by texting TIP239, plus the message, to CRIMES, numerically 274637. For more information on the text-message program, go online to www.smscrimetips.com.

Police tips line open

Maryland State Police in Leonardtown operate a Tips Line at 301-475-2936, inviting anyone with information about a crime that has occurred, or they expect may occur, to anonymously report that information 24 hours a day to authorities. Citizens may use the same telephone number to report concerns to police that do not involve criminal activity.

JOHN WHARTON