(July 26, 2019) Ocean City Police have identified three people who allegedly employed a distraction-type rouse to rip-off more than $8,000 in jewelry from a Boardwalk merchant, with one party currently in custody and two others awaiting extradition to Worcester County.
OCPD Deputy Communications Manager Ashley Miller said detectives with the Major Crimes Unit were contacted about a theft of roughly $8,500 from a jewelry store on the Boardwalk that occurred in May.
“This theft was brought to our attention when employees noticed that a display rack of men’s jewelry was missing from one of the glass display cases,” she said. “The owner reviewed the store surveillance with officers to determine when the display rack was taken.”
Miller said after examining the stores surveillance footage, City Watch cameras and license plate readers on roadway entrances to Ocean City, investigators were able to identify three suspects.
Two of the individuals, Jonathan Friday, 55, and Fabria Scandolari, 36, both of Voorhees, New Jersey were subsequently arrested in their area of residence.
After initially locating the pair, Miller said the third person in question, Vincent Hughes, 28 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was also arrested and is currently awaiting extradition.
Miller said detectives discovered Friday was presently incarcerated in New Jersey on unrelated charges and will eventually stand trial in Worcester County, although an extradition date has yet to be determined.
Miller said an arrest warrant issued on June 10 for Scandolari was served on July 2. She is currently being held without bond in the Worcester County Detention Center awaiting a trial on August 9 in Ocean City District Court.
Scandolari has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit theft up to $25,000 and one count of theft up to $25,000, with Friday and Hughes facing the same pending charges.
Miller said the best advice to avoid falling prey to a distraction-type theft scenario is for store employees to remain vigilant and engaged with every patron.
“While that may be hard to do in the summer, with larger crowds and wanting to stay engaged with the customer you are dealing with, at that moment the store employee should continue to scan the sales floor,” she said.
Espousing an ounce of prevention, Miller said jewelry store employees should exercise caution when exhibiting items to customers, only removing one item at a time and always double checking to confirm display cases are locked when not in use.