Vernon Garland, aka Vernon Coppin

Atlantic County Justice Facility

Atlantic City’s tactical units made two arrests and recovered two stolen guns in separate incidents within four minutes of each other Thursday night, police said.

Officers James Herbert and Brian Hambrecht tried to stop a suspect at Dover and Filbert avenues when he ran, Sgt. Monica McMenamin said. When the man was captured at 10:23 p.m. after a brief chase, police said, the officers found a fully loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun that had been stolen from Virginia.

The gun had a large-capacity magazine containing 22 rounds that were a mixture of hollow-point bullets and ball-round ammunition, McMenamin said.

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Vernon Coppin, 22, of Atlantic City, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of hollow-point ammunition, possession of a large-capacity magazine, receiving stolen property, obstruction and resisting arrest. He was being held in the Atlantic County jail on $75,000 full cash bail. He is listed there under the name Vernon Garland.

As Garland, he previously served time in 2007 and 2008, according to juvenile sentencings reported by The Press of Atlantic City at the time. One was for drugs, the other for receiving stolen property.

Four minutes later, Officers Eugene Laielli and Sterling Wheaten saw a teen walking in the 1900 block of Magellan Avenue with a gun in his hand, McMenamin said.

When the boy saw the officers, he shoved the gun into his jacket pocket and tried to walk away, according to the report. Laielli and Wheaten stopped him without incident, and found a fully loaded Ruger .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a hollow-point round in the chamber and four more rounds in the magazine, McMenamin said. The weapon was later found to have been stolen from a Northfield business.

The 17-year-old Atlantic City boy was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of hollow-point ammunition and receiving stolen property. He was being held at Harborfields Juvenile Detention Center in Egg Harbor City.

Three stolen guns have been recovered in Atlantic City this week. On Tuesday morning, police found a Northfield police officer’s stolen service weapon inside a home that belongs to Ecstasy Blackwell. Charges are pending in that case.

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