Cops say Burglar Set Up Homestead in Summer House for the Winter
OCEAN CITY, MD – February 9, 2016 – Who’s taking care of the caretaker’s daughter while the caretaker is busy taking care? That age old question can be applied to summer homes at the beach owned by folks who live in the city.
In this age of hidden cameras which let homeowners keep an eye on their property via their laptop or smartphone, taking a look at utility bills can also be a tip-off that there may be more than raccoons living in the beach house.
Ocean City Police reports that an Ocean City man was recently charged with burglary after the property owner discovered he had been living in the residence.
The Ocean City Police Department is
encouraging citizens with unoccupied homes in Ocean City to sign up for the Residential Security Check program to keep homes safe and secure. Officers will check on the home periodically to ensure that everything is as the homeowner said it would be. To sign up, visit http://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/police/programs/ or contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6610.
On January 4, 2016, at approximately 3:10 p.m. Ocean City police responded to a residence on 17th Street about a report of a burglary. The residence was unoccupied for the winter months, and the owner had noticed an increase in the homes’ utility bills in recent months. When the owner checked on the home, the owner discovered that an individual, later identified as Howard R. Shaffer, 59, of 12920 Riggin Ridge Road, Ocean City, Md., had been living in the residence.
On February 2, 2016, police report that Shaffer was located by the Maryland State Police Fugitive Apprehension Team and arrested by Ocean City police. Shaffer was charged with burglary in the first, third and fourth degree, theft less than $1,000 and malicious destruction of property valued less than $1,000. Shaffer was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released after posting $15,000 bond.
Aside from numerous traffic charges Shaffer was charged with theft by Maryland State Police Trooper James Brant in 2010 and a plea bargain with the Worcester County States Attorney, the charge was put on the Stet Docket on Nov. 12, 2010. Another theft charge ended with probation before judgment in 1993 in Wicomico County; a violation of that probation later occurred, according to court records.