Jasmine, Sheriff's office K9, dies

Sheriff’s Cpl. Lacey Smith plays with Jasmine, a St. Mary’s sheriff’s office K9 who recently passed away. Jasmine, who joined the sheriff’s office from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2016, had received specialized training in explosives detection and search and rescue.

Arson suspected in shed fire, two arrested

Fire marshal investigators believe a shed fire in a trailer park off of Ridge Road in Lexington Park was caused by “suspects igniting the shed and fleeing in a vehicle” on Sunday, Sept. 13, shortly after 5 p.m.

With the assistance of troopers assigned to the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack, deputy state fire marshals arrested a father and son on Wednesday on charges of arson. Lawrence Dwayne Nelson, 43, and his son, Daeshaun Dwayne Nelson, 21, of Lexington Park, are each charged with first- and second-degree arson, according to a release from the fire marshal’s office.

The blaze started in the shed but spread to a neighbor’s property, and caused one injury due to underlying medical conditions.

Investigators estimated the damages at $70,000 after 15 firefighters took 10 minutes to control the blaze.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6832.

Man accused of trying a home invasion

A Lexington Park man was jailed Tuesday on charges of attempted home invasion and attempted burglary following a July incident where his then-girlfriend alleged he had assaulted her, stole her cell phone, left and began to send threatening text messages.

Dayshawn M. Nolan, 27, “began to send text messages to the victim stating he was going to return to her residence with a gun and kill her,” charging papers say, and he did later return the residence in St. Inigoes and allegedly dented her vehicle before banging on the door and allegedly attempted to enter the residence.

Man arrested on robbery charges

A man has been arrested and released on bail in connection with an October 2019 “strong-arm” robbery, which police recently sought the public’s assistance in solving.

The Oct. 1 robbery allegedly occurred at the Sheetz on Great Mills Road, where police say in the early morning hours a man, who police identified as Stephon L. Reed, ripped a carton of Newport cigarettes from a cashier, scratching the cashier’s hand, and walked out with a handful of cell phone accessories, knocking a store display over, according to charging papers.

An individual who personally knew Reed identified him after a press release was issued by the sheriff’s office, charging papers say.

Coffee shop receives award from sheriff

St. Inie’s Coffee in Lexington Park on Friday, Sept. 11, received the Stanley J. Goodwin Award, which recognizes “those who volunteer their time and service to others and make our county and country a better place for everyone,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

“St. Inie’s is the first business to receive this recognition due to their selflessness and dedication to the community. Catherine and Howie Grube, owners of the business, along with their four children and employees, were in attendance to receive the award,” the release says.

Sheriff posts crime news on blog

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office posts news and information on incidents and arrests, including photographs of suspects, online at http://firstsheriff.blogspot.com.

The sheriff’s office also posts surveillance images and other information on the website when the public’s assistance is being sought during ongoing investigations, and the website’s links include access to NIXLE alerts and sheriff’s office Twitter posts.

Email addresses can be entered on the website, to receive a daily sheriff’s office summary of information.

In addition, the sheriff’s office posts photos on Instagram, under the username stmaryssheriff, along with the agency’s ongoing entries on its Facebook page.

Sheriff’s office offers online reporting option

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office offers citizens a web-based method to report minor crimes where there is no suspect information or other investigative leads. The online reporting system can be used to report any suspicious incidents, lost property, theft or vandalism.

Citizens can access the reporting system by going online to www.firstsheriff.com/citizenreport, or through the sheriff’s office website at www.firstsheriff.com.

When no suspect is known or seen in connection with these incidents, the sheriff’s office urges residents to use the online reporting system, including in cases involving missing cellphones, wallets and other items of value.

If information about a suspect is known, residents should continue to call the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency line at 301-475-8008, for a deputy to be dispatched to take a report of the incident.

As always, if there is an emergency, a crime in progress, or an immediate need for medical assistance, dial 911.

For more information, call 301-475-8008.

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.

Contributions to the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers reward fund can be mailed to St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. at P.O. Box 221, Mechanicsville, MD 20659. St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. is a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The full amount of gifts is tax deductible to the extent of the law, since no goods or services were provided in relation to the contribution.

St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. does not receive any taxpayer dollars to help in its efforts. All money is raised through Crime Solvers’ fundraising efforts, and donations from businesses and the public.

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 www.smscrimetips.com.

Police tips line open

Maryland State Police in Leonardtown operate a Tips Line at 410-257-4925 or 888-210-1450, 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.

Information can be submitted by email to centralsouth@maryland.gov, and police investigators can be followed on Facebook at CED-Central South.

DAN BELSON

DAN BELSON