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Motorist escapes from burning car

Mechanicsville volunteer firefighters report that they responded early Saturday morning to a call of a crash on Thompson’s Corner Road, where they found a car on fire in the middle of the road and a driver who safely got out of the vehicle.

The driver declined medical treatment, according to Fire Chief John Raley’s online report of the 5:59 a.m. incident. Firefighters initially were advised that the accident involved a utility pole, but their investigation determined that the pole had not been struck during the collision.

Gun violation alleged

William Antonio Briscoe, 25, of Lexington Park was arraigned last week on an indictment charging him with the illegal possession of firearms last October, an offense allegedly discovered after he was jailed for violating his probation in a burglary case.

St. Mary’s sheriff’s vice-narcotics detectives report that Briscoe attempted while in custody to make arrangements to have the firearms transferred to someone else, and that a firearm was recovered from Briscoe’s home through the investigation.

Briscoe pleaded guilty in 2006 to first-degree burglary, online court records state, from a break-in that occurred earlier that year at a Hermanville area home where police reported that four handguns were stolen. As a convicted felon, Briscoe is prohibited from possessing firearms, according to detectives.

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

Cellphones 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

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.