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Teen Runaway Takes $12,000 Trip to Ocean City

April 18, 1988

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) _ A teen-ager who got a bad report card took $74,000 from his parents, ran away to this seaside resort and spent four days living it up with a rented limo, tasteless jewelry and big tips at pizza joints, police said.

The 15-year-old runaway from Pittsburgh had about $53,000 in cash left when state police apprehended him Saturday at a go-cart track in West Ocean City.

When the youth left home Tuesday he had a cardboard box containing $74,000 belonging to his parents, according to State Police Cpl. Harry Edwards. The teen’s father was said to be a legitimate businessman who often kept cash at home.

The youth took a bus to this beach resort and checked into a hotel where rooms cost from $32 to $34 a night.

He quickly made a few friends, and together they left on a spending spree in a limousine rented from Resort Transportation Co. A clerk said the youth and his friends had their driver take them shopping.

″They thought they’d get some high fashion,″ Edwards said. ″They bought up a lot of jewelry at stores on the Boardwalk. You know, necklaces, watches, bracelets. But they had no taste in jewelry. .. They even had a knock-off fake Rolex watch. It said Rolex on the front, and on the back, in ink that rubs off, it said Taiwan.″

The boys ate mostly in pizza joints, ″and everywhere they went, they tipped, they tipped well,″ Edwards said.

The spree came to an end after the youth’s parents somehow learned of his whereabouts and contacted the state police. Police were also alerted by someone who found the youth’s spending habits unusual.

Officers picked the boy up and held him at a juvenile facility until he was released to his mother Sunday afternoon.

Eric Deshawn Faulkner, 20, of Ocean City, was arrested along with the youth and charged with stealing $2,500 of his money. Police were searching for another suspect who apparently grabbed a handful of money from the cardboard box as it sat open during a party in the motel room, Edwards said.

″They just had a devil-may-care attitude,″ he said. ″In my 15 years I’ve never seen one like this.″