Trio Arrested in Laurel Gun Shop Robbery - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Written by Kye Parsons

Trio Arrested in Laurel Gun Shop Robbery

Jeffrey Layton Jeffrey Layton
Michael P. O'Neal Michael P. O'Neal
Dawn Phippin Dawn Phippin
Robert E. Layton Robert E. Layton

LAUREL, Del.- A traffic stop ultimately led to the arrests of three people accused of robbing a Laurel gun shop earlier this month, Delaware State Police announced Monday.

On Jan. 16, the Seaford Police Department arrested 21-year-old Jeffrey Layton of Seaford and 22-year-old Kayla M. Ksenich, also of Seaford, as the result of a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, Seaford police officers searched Ksenich's vehicle.  
Authorities said that during the search of the couple's vehicle, the Seaford officers located two firearms and drug paraphernalia. Investigators said the pair of firearms were determined to be two of the 14 firearms stolen in the Jan. 14 robbery of the Southern Delaware Shooters Gun Shop in Laurel.  
Delaware State Police said that in the gun shop robbery, a 64-year-old Laurel man was working in the business when a man walked inside and requested to have a knife sharpened.  
When the victim turned his back to the man, police said he was attacked from behind. The suspect grabbed the victim and choked him to the point that he became unconscious, according to investigators. When the victim regained consciousness his hands and feet were bound by electrical tape. The victim sustained abrasions to his face but did not require medical treatment, according to police.
Police said that during the course of the robbery, the suspect stole a combination of handguns, shotguns and rifles. 
Subsequent to the Seaford Police Department investigation, Delaware State Police detectives said they were able link Jeffrey Layton, 25-year-old Michael P. O'Neal of Laurel and 43-year-old Dawn Phippin of Seaford, to the robbery that occurred at the gun shop.  
Also last week, troopers conducted multiple search warrants in the Sussex County area and  recovered eight of the 14 guns stolen during the Jan. 14.  (The eight firearms include the two recovered by Seaford police) The guns that were stolen during the robbery were a combination of handguns, rifles and shotguns. 

Police say that during the course of their investigation into the gun shop robbery, troopers were able to link Jeffrey Layton, O'Neal and 18-year-old Robert E. Layton of Bridgeville to other robberies that occurred on Dec. 24, 2010 at the Cigarette Outlet on 30685 Sussex Highway and the Uncle Willie's convenience store located on 28194 DuPont Highway in Millsboro.

Investigators said that during the Uncle Willie's robbery, Robert E. Layton was the alleged driver of the getaway car while O'Neal and Jeffrey Layton entered the store displaying a shotgun and demanding money. 
Troopers said that during the Cigarette Outlet robbery, Jeffrey Layton entered the business, displayed a saw-off shotgun and demanded money. Police said that following this robbery, he is believed to have fled to a nearby mobile home park then fled in a vehicle driven by O'Neal.  
While investigations the aforementioned robberies, troopers also obtained information about a burglary that occurred on Dusty Road in Seaford. Police said that during this burglary, O'Neal and Jeffrey Layton entered the home between Dec. 20 and Dec. 26, 2010. O'Neal and Layton stole two firearms from inside the home, according to investigators. 
Jeffrey Layton was originally arrested Jan. 18 by Seaford police and charged with weapon and related offenses. On Jan. 21, he was arrested again, this time by Delaware State Police and charged with attempted first-degree murder, robbery, burglary, strangulation, numerous theft and weapon charges and other offenses. He is being held in the Sussex Correctional Institute in lieu of $112,000 cash bail.

Robert E. Layton was charged Jan. 21 with first-degree robbery and related offenses. He is being held in SCI in lieu of $28,000 cash bail.

O'Neal was originally arrested Jan. 19 and again on Jan. 21 with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, strangulation numerous theft and weapon charges, and related offenses. He is being held in SCI in lieu of $112,000 cash bail.

Phippin was arrested Jan. 21 for first-degree robbery, strangulation, as well as numerous theft and related offenses. She is being held in the Women's Correctional Institute in lieu of $26,000 secured bond.


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