Easton man sentenced to 18 years in burglaries
CENTREVILLE — A Easton man was recently sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in two 2017 burglaries at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville.
On July 31, Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ross sentenced Scott Adam Hill to 18 years in the Division of Corrections with no time suspended, after Hill pleaded guilty to second- and fourth-degree burglary as well as malicious destruction of property over $1,000 on May 22. Deputy State’s Attorney Michael “Mick” Cuches prosecuted the cases. He also secured a monetary judgment of $6,494 against Hill for damages caused to the church. Details of the cases follow: Deputies from the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the church Nov. 25, , 2017, for a recent burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property complaint. They met with the Associate Pastor Anthony Lombardo, who reported that when he got into the church that morning he saw pieces of drywall on the floor near the church secretary’s office and a hole punched through the dry wall into the secretar y’s office. Lombardo discovered that the church’s safe was missing, police said.
Deputies conducted a thorough search of the church’s interior and observed several doors leading into different offices had locks that were damaged and small window panes in the doors had been smashed. Filing cabinets in certain offices were also damaged, indicating someone attempted to gain entry into them using a pry bar or claw hammer, police said.
The church was able to retrieve footage from surveillance cameras, which showed a white male, 30 to 40 years old, with a pronounced mustache and goatee. He was wearing a camouflaged baseball hat, striped hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and Asics brand tennis shoes. The video showed the man loading the safe onto a wheeled office chair and pushing it from the office, through the gymnasium and outside.
On Dec. 11, deputies again responded to the Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church for another burglary complaint. Surveillance video showed the same man from the prior burglary break into the church at about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 11 through an exterior window into an office on the school side of the church. Deputies said the man rifled through the school secretary’s desk, took cash from a bank bag and then made his way into a math class room where he stole several bags of coins that the school used for instructional purposes. Much like the prior burglary, there were pry marks and damage to window panes in doors.
On Jan. 19, 2018, deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office were called to a residence in Easton for a report of someone finding a safe buried in their back yard. Deputies met with Theresa Hill, who said she was separating from her husband, Scott Adam Hill, and that he abruptly left their residence. She added that she and her brother-in-law, Robert Irvin Adams Jr., received an anonymous tip that Scott had buried a safe in their backyard. Hill and her brother-inlaw checked the yard and discovered, underneath a dirt pile, a gray safe. Inside of the , they located two credit cards and a key. The credit cards were company credit cards issued to Safe Harbor Church. Members of the Safe Harbor Church were able to verify that the safe and its contents were the items stolen during Nov. 11 burglary.
Detective Jason Rickard of the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office was assigned to investigate the burglaries. He was able to locate MVA and social media photographs of Scott Adam Hill that matched the suspect in the surveillance videos from the burglaries. Rickard got a court authorized search and seizure warrant for Hill’s last known residence in Easton. This search found Hill’s identification as well as an Asics tennis shoe box that matched the style of shoes seen in the surveillance video.
Rickard questioned Theresa Hill, who identified Scott Hill as the person in the surveillance videos and identified the clothing he was wearing during the burglaries police said. Scott Hill was subsequently charged and arrested Jan. 23.