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Fire at vacant house in Oakville probed

State investigators are working to determine the cause of a fire Tuesday night that caused damages estimated at $20,000 to a vacant one-story wooden house on Friendship School Road in Oakville.

Thirty Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Leonardtown, Bay District and 7th District volunteer firefighters responding to a 9:49 p.m. alarm quickly doused the blaze that began in an exterior crawl space of the structure owned by Andrew Quade, according to a notice of investigation filed by Deputy State Fire Marshal John Nelson.

The fire marshal’s office requested that anyone with information about the blaze call its Southern Maryland location at 443-550-6833.

College student injured in bicycle crash

A Maryland State Police helicopter crew flew a St. Mary’s College of Maryland student to a hospital last weekend, St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputies report, after the bicycle she was riding on a campus road collided with a van, which had entered the road from Route 5 and stopped.

Monique Dykman, 20, of Arnold was riding the bike west on College Drive in a lane against oncoming traffic at 5:15 p.m. last Saturday, the sheriff’s office reports, when the bike collided with the 1995 Dodge Caravan driven by John Smith, 32, of Park Hall. Smith did not require transportation to a hospital for medical treatment.

The bicycle rider was unconscious after impact with the vehicle’s windshield, a St. Mary’s dispatch log report states, and the helicopter crew flew her to University of Maryland Hospital’s Shock-Trauma Center in Baltimore. A hospital employee said Wednesday that Dykman has been discharged from the facility, but no further information was available as to her condition.

Calvert woman charged with thefts

Erica Justine Cox, 21, of Dunkirk has been charged through a summons with theft offenses in court papers alleging she stole jewelry and video game equipment between November 2012 and last February from her grandfather’s home in Mechanicsville.

In addition to the Xbox gaming system, two rings owned by Allen Bruce Buntin and valued at $1,700 were reported missing from the residence, along with jewelry owned by Kathleen Louise Buntin that was valued at $5,600, according to charging papers filed by sheriff’s Cpl. Deborah Milam.

“When asked if [the jewelry] was pawned, Cox claimed she gave it to her drug dealer,” Milam wrote in a charges application.

Man accused in theft of pickup truck

Lawrence Damien Walker, 47, of Brandywine has been charged through a summons with a theft offense alleging he stole a 2006 Ford pickup truck last October outside a Mechanicsville business, two days before it was found abandoned in Charles County.

Cellphone tower location data indicated that Walker’s phone was carried from the Brandywine area where he resides to Mechanicsville, where George Hair’s truck was taken from in front of his Roofing by George business, according to a charges application from the investigation by sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Simonds.

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

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.