UPDATE: Stolen vehicle recovered in Ocean Pines theft investigation
OCEAN PINES, Md. – An Ocean Pines couple, who was targeted by a man who schemed his way inside their home only to steal their keys and take off with their vehicle, were overjoyed this week when they got their car back, and now they’re calling for justice to protect other trusting people from being targeted by the same brazen suspect.
A knock at the door turned into a nightmare for Kathy and Alan Funkhouser of Ocean Pines after a strange man showed up at their door on the morning of Thursday, June 23 and schemed his way into stealing their vehicle.
The suspect, 40-year-old Mark Allen Meekins, was served with an arrest warrant and detained by the Dover Police Department earlier this month, according to Sgt. Joe Bailey with the Ocean Pines Police Department. Police had no known current address for Meekins and he is believed to be homeless. Sources close to the investigation tell 47 ABC that Meekins drove to Dover and checked himself into a mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation facility, and it was there that he was located by law enforcement.
Meekins reportedly showed up to the Funkhouser’s home on Tail of the Fox Lane around 10:45 that morning asking for a phone charger. Sympathizing with Meekins, the Funkhouser’s went to look for a phone charger in their back bedroom and that’s when Meekins allegedly let himself inside and stole their car keys.
“Alan stepped to the back to get our charger and apparently, while we were both out of this room, this guy just very quietly opened the storm door, took two steps into the house, looked around to see what he could grab, and he happened to see our big pile of keys on this old desk,” Kathy told us as she peered outside the front door to her home, still amazed that both her and husband were the victims of such a theft.
It was at that point that Meekins left the Funkhouser’s home, not acting nervous at all according to the couple, and later realizing that he had their car keys which led to him reportedly stealing their vehicle right out of their driveway.
Prior to that incident, Sgt. Bailey tells us Meekins targeted another home on the same street that same day where he allegedly stole a number of tools. He then reportedly took those tools to a local pawn shop, according to police. Currently, detectives are trying to locate the Funkhouser’s vehicle and are investigating whether or not Meekins drove their car to the pawn shop or not.
On Tuesday, July 19, Ocean Pines Police were able to recover the stolen vehicle and return it to the Funkhouser’s after an employee from Morrison’s Chiropractic on Eastern Shore Drive called in about a suspicious vehicle that had been abandoned in their parking lot for a couple weeks.
“We recovered Mark Meekins wallet in the center console of the vehicle and inside the wallet was his social security card, his health insurance card and two visa debit cards with his name on them,” Sgt. Bailey told 47 ABC’s Rob Petree, and that wasn’t all that was found in the vehicle, according to Kathy Funkhouser who revealed that a more personal, and suggestive, item was also recovered.
“There was a pack of unopened condoms,” Kathy said. “So, I guess, I’m sure this guy went out on a wild spree and got it all, sex, drugs, and rock and roll! We’re just very fortunate that we got our car back because even at a minimum, the $2,500 to replace all the locking mechanisms, is much better than $25,000 to get another used car.”
Moving forward, the Funkhouser’s want to see justice served in an effort to prevent such an incident from happening again to other trusting people.
“I hope that Mr. Meekins is not allowed out on the streets to prey on anybody else anytime soon,” Kathy said emphatically. “I just want the people out there to really be on their guard, it’s sad to think that we live in a society that’s changing that way, it’s not what I grew up with, people use to leave their keys in their car, their house unlocked all day, not anymore.”
Meekins faces several charges including one count of motor vehicle unlawful taking, two counts of 1st degree burglary, and one count of theft.