(Jan. 25, 2019) Benjamin Edward Giles Jr., 20, of Salisbury will serve one year in prison for first-degree burglary after being convicted last Tuesday in Worcester County Circuit Court for a theft scheme at a mid-town Ocean City hotel last June.
Judge Beau Oglesby sentenced Giles to five years of incarceration, with all but one suspended, for first-degree burglary, which corresponds to sentencing guidelines for the felony count.
Giles was originally charged with two counts each of first- and fourth-degree burglary, along with a pair of charges for theft under $1,500 for hotel room thefts that occurred between June 16-17.
Ocean City police responded on June 17 for reports of a theft at a hotel in the 5500 block of Coastal Highway.
Police said two men staying who had registered at the hotel one day earlier claimed that a phone valued at just under $600 and a white Luis Vuitton belt and buckle valued at more than $700 had gone missing from their rooms.
The next day, police reviewed surveillance footage, which showed a man using a master key card to enter a handful of rooms between June 15 and June 16.
Hotel staff said the suspect was not authorized to use the key card.
According to the police report, investigators eventually located a number of stolen items in two rooms. They also found Giles’ identification card, which matched the suspect’s description.
On June 19, Giles returned to the hotel seeking his alleged possessions and was charged with trespass, with a subsequent arrest warrant issued two weeks later.
State’s Attorney for Worcester County Kristin Heiser noted the diligent work by Ocean City police to complete the investigation, while crediting Assistant State’s Attorney Michael W. Farlow for prosecuting the case.
“These types of crimes violate the privacy and personal space of the victims,” she said. “I’m glad we were able to secure a conviction to help keep our community safe.”