Ocean City Today

Knives found more often than guns during arrests this year

Firearms discovered in just 18 percent of all weapons cases in resort this summer
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 06, 2017

(July 7, 2017) Weapons arrests in Ocean City are tracking with statistics for the last two years, but law enforcement officers are seizing more knives through arrests than they did last year, according to Ocean City Police.

As of mid-June, 79 weapons arrests were made in the resort, a five percent reduction as compared to the 83 arrests made during the same period last year. Fourteen of those were firearms-related, which is up by one from this point last June.

So far, however, police have seized 77 knives, up 45 percent from this point last summer, where 53 knives were confiscated.

“Looking at the statistics, we see more knives than firearms,” Police Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay Richard said. “It just seems like there’s more firearms because we’ve had shooting incidents in such a concentrated period of time.”

On June 9, a teenager had allegedly shot himself in the leg and threw away his firearm on the beach around 85th Street. Although police closed the beach to search for the gun, it was never found. Hours after that incident, someone shot at a vehicle behind the McDonald’s on 33rd Street.

Richard said she could not discuss that incident, as it was an open investigation.

Four days after those shootings, OCPD arrested two men after they allegedly fired 9mm carbine pistols into the air while they were downtown.

These incidents aside, statistics show that Ocean City Police is more likely to recover replica guns during an arrest than an actual firearm. Twenty-five fake firearms had been seized as of June 17, 2016, while 18 replica guns were found during arrests this year.

Other weapons, which include stun guns and martial arts devices, tallied 29 seizures so far this year. Twenty-six were taken during arrests in the same amount of time last year.

Richard said that in the weeks following the shootings, Ocean City Police has maintained a strong presence in town, whether the officers are in uniform or in plain clothes. To help get weapons off the streets police will perform robbery suppression patrols. The idea is to send police into areas that have higher incidence of crime, like the downtown areas.

“Victimology shows that areas that have various alcohol or drug violations usually tie in with robberies and include weapons,” she said. “We also are in the middle of conducting our undercover buy/bust operation, and that helps prevent robberies that are drug-related.”

The buy/bust operation last year seized .5 ounces of marijuana and 150 prescription pills and led to 52 arrests.

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