On December 6, 2015, at approximately 11:23 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office responded to the areas of Sugar Maple Court and the nearby Wawa gas station in California, Maryland, for a report of an assault with an injured subject. The injured subject, along with a second victim, also reported to be the victims of an armed robbery. The injured victim was found to be suffering from multiple head wounds that required transport via Maryland State Police Helicopter “Trooper 7” to a local area trauma center. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) responded and assumed the investigation.
The subsequent investigation by CID detectives, crime lab technicians, and the CID Support Team led to the identification of suspects Donald Strickland, age 36, and Joseph Eckloff, age 32, both of Lexington Park. On December 28, 2015, arrest warrants were obtained by CID detectives for both suspects in connection with the armed robbery. Both Strickland and Eckloff were arrested by CID detectives on December 29, 2015, without incident and were incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. Both suspects were charged with Armed Robbery, Robbery, Assault 1st and 2nd Degree, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, and Theft Less than $1,000.
The investigation into this matter is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crime to contact Detective Cory Ellis at 301-475-4200*, ext. 8125 or by email at Cory.Ellis@stmarysmd.com. Callers may also call Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333 (callers can remain anonymous, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus your message to “CRIMES” (274637).