(Ocean City, Md) - An Ocean City man has been charged with burglary after the property owner discovered he had been living in the residence. January 4, 2016, police responded to a home on seventeenth Street for the report of a burglary. The home was unoccupied for the winter months and the owner had noticed an increase in the homes' utility bills in recent months. When the owner checked on the home, he found Howard R. Shaffer, 59, of Ocean City, MD, had been living in the residence. February 2, Shaffer was located by the Maryland State Police Fugitive Apprehension Team and arrested by Ocean City police. Shaffer was charged with burglary in the first, third and fourth degree, theft less than $1,000 and malicious destruction of property valued less than $1,000. Shaffer was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released after posting $15,000 bond.

Ocean City Police are encouraging citizens with unoccupied homes to sign up for the Residential Security Check program in an effort to keep homes safe and secure. Officers will check on the home periodically to ensure that everything is as the homeowner said it would be. To sign go to the town's website, http://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/police/programs/ or contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6610.