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Delaware Crime Briefs


Crime briefs and police reports from law enforcement agencies across Delaware. Published as received.

Harrington Police Department: Released July 7, 2011
3 Arrested on Drug Charges after Traffic Stop

Released on Thursday July 7, 2011

Harrington –On Monday 7-4-11 the Harrington Police Department arrested Keonia T. Mitchell 20, of Milton, Tyrell D. Beckett 22, and Derrick J. Beckett 28, both of Ellendale for drug charges after officers stopped the vehicle for  traffic violations and found that all the subjects in the vehicle had suspended licenses.  During a search of the vehicle officers located 0.5 grams of Cocaine, 1.3 grams of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia.  All three subjects were taken into custody and transported to the Harrington Police Department for processing.  Tyrell and Derrick Beckett were both charged with Possession of a Narcotic Schedule II Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Conspiracy 3rd Degree.  Both were arraigned via video phone at Justice of the Peace Court # 7 and both were released on unsecured bond.  Ms. Mitchell was charged with Possession of a Narcotic Schedule II Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Conspiracy 3rd Degree.  Ms. Mitchell was also arraigned via video phone at Justice of the Peace Court # 7 and she was also released on unsecured bond.  

Juvenile Arrested for Theft and Conspiracy

Harrington –On 7-6-11 the Harrington Police Department arrested a 14 year old Harrington Juvenile for Theft under $1,500 and Conspiracy 3rd Degree.  On 5-19-11 officers were contacted by the victim at the Harrington Police Department.  The victim advised officers that he was standing outside a business on Mechanic St. when he was approached by two juveniles.  As the victim was speaking to the juveniles,   the juveniles took money out of the victims hand and fled on foot.  During the investigation officers were able to identify one of the juveniles and obtained warrants for him.  Police are still attempting to identify the second juvenile.  The juvenile turned himself into the Harrington Police Department and was processed.  The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents pending a future court appearance in Kent County Family Court. 

DUI Arrest

Harrington –7-3-11 at 1:18 am:  Arthur Schoen 67, of Harrington for DUI and Failure to Signal Turn.  Mr. Schoen was transported to the Harrington Police Department and processed and released pending a future court appearance.  

Bridgeville Man arrested for Possession of Marijuana

Harrington –On 7-1-11 the Harrington Police Department arrested William T. Trader Jr. 47, of Bridgeville for Possession of Marijuana.  On 6-24-11 officers on patrol responded to Diamond Court Apartments for a Domestic Dispute.  When officers arrived they determined that Mr. Trader was in a residence and refused to leave.  Officers contacted Mr. Trader and he was removed from the residence.  A computer check revealed that Mr. Trader had capias out of Kent County Court of Common Pleas and Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.  While searching Mr. Trader officers found 0.7 grams of Marijuana in Mr. Trader's pants pocket.  Mr. Trader was transported to the Kent County Courthouse and turned over to Capital Police to be arraigned on his capias.  Officers obtained a warrant for Mr. Trader for Possession of Marijuana.  Mr. Trader later turned himself into the Harrington Police Department and he was arraigned via video phone at Justice of the Peace Court # 2 and was released on $500 unsecured bond. 

Harrington Man Arrested after Officers find him hiding in a House

Harrington –On Friday 7-1-11 the Harrington Police Department arrested Richard B. Roundtree 44, of Harrington for Assault 3rd Degree and Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle.  Officers on patrol were contacted by an anonymous person stating that Mr. Roundtree was inside a residence in the 200 Block of Central Park Dr.  The Harrington Police Department had active warrants for Mr. Roundtree.  Mr. Roundtree was also wanted by several courts.  Officers arrived at the residence and began searching inside the residence.  After searching the residence for several minutes officers located Mr. Roundtree hiding in a cabinet.  Mr. Roundtree refused to come out of the cabinet and once officers removed him he was placed into custody.  Mr. Roundtree was transported to the Harrington Police Department and processed.  He was charged with Assault 3rd Degree, Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle and Resisting Arrest.  He was wanted out of Kent County Superior Court, Justice of the Peace Court # 6, Justice of the Peace Court # 7 and Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.  Mr. Roundtree was arraigned via video phone at Justice of the Peace Court # 2 and was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institute in default of $2,000 secured bail and $1,852 cash bond.  During this incident the Harrington Police Department also arrested Marilyn M. Katcher 69, of Harrington for Hindering Prosection.  Ms. Katcher was inside the residence during the incident and advised the responding officers that Mr. Roundtree left the residence was not there.  Ms. Katcher was issued a Criminal Summons and released pending a future court appearance.  

Sheriff's Office Releases Six Month Report to the Citizens of New Castle County: July 6, 2011

Sheriff Trinidad Navarro has issued a report that details the progressive improvements in the office over his first six months in office.  In this report, you will find examples of our efforts to increase efficiency, save money, and increase the professionalism of our staff through training and certifications.

Administratively, the Sheriff's Office handled approximately $25 million dollars in the past year.  We are responsible for the accurate acceptance, disbursement, and most importantly, the accounting of those funds.  Sheriff Navarro requested a thorough and comprehensive audit be conducted before he took office.  The Sheriff's staff spent weeks organizing financial documents in preparation of the audit.  County Auditor, Bob Wasserbach and his staff began the audit in March.  Mr. Wasserbach has indicated the report is nearing completion.  These results will be made public, and will include recommendations for improvements in procedures and processes.  This will be the most comprehensive audit done for this office in recent history.  An example of improvements is our discovering there was no documentation showing our banked funds had protection.   At our request, our bank now supplies us with a monthly report of surety through documented collateralization of funds on hand. This report documents that our funds are insured by other assets of the bank. Our funds on hand normally far exceed federally required bank insurance limits.

We have already accomplished several efforts to save costs and increase efficiency.  The biggest single savings will come from our streamlining of advertising for Sheriff's sales of real estate.  We have adjusted the size of legally required newspaper ads in several media outlets and have seen a significant savings in advertising costs.  We have leveraged our latest software technology to create Sheriff Sale posters in house which has eliminated the need to pay an outside printing contractor.  This single initiative will save nearly $300,000 in the coming year.  We have proposed, and County Council has passed an ordinance to streamline our fees, and reduce the upfront deposit and costs for a Sheriff's sale of real estate.

Recent efforts by our real estate staff to collect on delinquent accounts have been very fruitful as well.  Throughout the month of June, we collected approximately $920,000 from the law firms, who represent the banks, who were delinquent in real estate payments to the Sheriff's Office. 

We have been conducting audits of the tasks and workload or our clerical employees.  They perform a variety of complex legal and financial clerical and accounting tasks to support the work of the office.  Efforts are being made to insure that all employees are properly trained, workloads are equalized, and checks and balances are in place to make sure accuracy is held to the highest standard.

With the leadership of the Clerk of the Peace, Ken Boulden, we have met with and formed a state wide association of Row Officers.  The Delaware Association of County Row Officers was formed in early June.  Part of the mission of the organization is to provide citizens with superior service.  It is hoped that ideas for efficiencies, training, and cost savings can be brought forth and shared by all of the offices.

As promised, we have increased the professionalism of our deputies in the field, by providing training and certification for CPR and use of AEDs.  We have written a directive outlining a force continuum that has been reviewed by the County Attorney.  We've had certification training in that directive by certified trainers from the County Police.  We've also written a directive with regard to use of County vehicles, and trained to that directive as well. 

On the topic of vehicles, and fuel economy in particular, we issued a memo with several suggestions to increase fuel economy.  Our field deputies took the advice to heart, and have already realized an average of 10% fuel savings, with an effort to save even more. 

Previously, our deputies supplied their own uniforms.  County Sheriff's deputies in the field making contact with the public should be uniformed so the public would readily recognize them.  With our deputies being armed and at times serving persons and places averse to the role and authority of the Court and Sheriff's office, it is essential that they be easily recognized and identified.  The uniforms are for the deputy's safety as well as the public's ability to recognize them and their lawful authority.  They will be outfitted in black polo shirts with proper insignia, and khaki utility pants. Uniforms as well as all other equipment are purchased under County wide competitive bid rules.

Another progressive move regarding the safety of our deputies is the newly acquired access to the County Police crime report data base from their cars.  A deputy may serve up to 25 or 30 locations in a day, and have no knowledge of any history for the location being served or its occupants. The data base can be searched by address to reveal recent police activity for the address.  The deputy can then determine if he or she may need assistance in serving the location, or may require police assistance if absolutely necessary.

In summation: According to Sheriff Navarro, "We have found the office to be extremely busy.  It is no secret that mortgage foreclosures are at an all time high.  In the first six months of this year, the office has set up 1,706 real estate foreclosure sales with 679 homes being sold.  Sadly, there has been no indication of a decrease in home foreclosures in the immediate future.  Even though the workload has increased, we reduced our 11 person office staff by one employee last year.  We have judiciously used overtime only out of necessity and under my constant review.  To minimize the overtime, our Chief Deputy has worked in the field to help execute the backlog of court mandated evictions. We are certainly doing the most with what we have and maintained only a minimal backlog of work.  I commend my staff for their consistent hard work and dedication.  We have only just begun –look for much more in the future."  

Delaware State Police: July 4, 2011

Delaware State Police Conduct Death Investigation
  • 20000 block Greenway Sea Colony West Bethany Beach, De
DATE and TIME:  
  • Sunday July 3, 2011 11:33 pm
  • 80 year old deceased Bethany Beach man
  • 93 year old Bethany Beach woman (Critical Condition Beebe Hospital)
Bethany Beach-Delaware State Police are conducting a Death Investigation possibly related to carbon monoxide poisoning.  Delaware State Police are being assisted by the Bethany Beach Fire Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Delaware. 
On Sunday July 3, 2011 Delaware State Police and the Bethany Beach Fire Department responded to the 20000 block of Greenway in Sea Colony West for a report of a possible gas leak.  Upon arrival an 80 year old man was found deceased and his 93 year old spouse was in poor condition.  The 93 year old woman was transported to Beebe Hospital and is listed in critical condition. 
Delaware State Police are continuing their investigation into the cause and manner of death of the 80 year old Bethany Beach man.  The 80 year old victim's body was turned over to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who will determine and release information concerning cause and manner of death.
No further details are currently releasable. 
Delaware State Police: July 3, 2011
DSP News Release: Detectives Arrest Laurel Man for Touching Boy
Date: Sunday, July 3, 2011
Defendant: Ronald W. Hastings, 64, Laurel, DE
-Unlawful Sexual Contact 1st Degree
-Assault 2nd Degree
-Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Bridgeville- Delaware State Police detectives have arrested a 64 year old Laurel man for the unlawful touching of a 3 year old boy that occurred on Friday at the Burger King Restaurant in Seaford.
Ronald W. Hastings turned himself in at Troop 5 in Bridgeville, DE this morning after family members saw a story about the incident in the media. Detectives charged Hastings with the above list of crimes. He was arraigned at JP Court 3 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution for lack of $11,000 secured bail.
A photograph of Ronald Hastings is not available at this time.
Released Sunday, July 03, 2011 at 9:45 p.m.
Original Release Below
DSP News Release: Troopers Search for Suspect after Touching Child
Location: Burger King Restaurant, 24000 block of Sussex Highway (RT 13), Seaford, DE
Date of Occurrence: Friday, July 1, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.
-White male, 50-60 years of age, 5'5"-5'9" tall with a large built. He was last seen wearing tan pants, a short sleeved button down shirt, black cap, and glasses.
Victim: 3 year old Laurel, DE boy
Seaford- The Delaware State Police are currently searching for a male suspect after he inappropriately touched a three year old juvenile in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant yesterday evening in Seaford, DE.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:15 p.m. yesterday as a Laurel, DE woman and her three year old son were inside of the Burger King Restaurant located in the 24000 block of Sussex Highway in Seaford. As the mother waited in line to receive her food order, the three year old responded to the men's bathroom. A short time later, the victim's mother responded to the bathroom and called for her son. After not receiving an initial response, the mother called again for her son at which time the men's bathroom door was opened by another male patron of the restaurant who asked her if a small child inside of the bathroom was her son. The mother then looked in the bathroom where she observed her son standing inside with his pants down around his ankles and his shirt missing. It was at this point that the male suspect described above exited the stall inside of the bathroom, holding the victim's shirt. The mother and the 3 year old victim then fled from the bathroom with the suspect following them, attempting to return the victim's shirt. The mother then grabbed the shirt from the suspect, fled from the restaurant with her son, and called 9-1-1 from a nearby residence. The suspect was last seen entering a gold or silver vehicle described as possibly being a Dodge Neon. A subsequent interview of the victim was conducted at which time it was revealed that the male suspect had touched the victim's penis while they were in the bathroom.
Troopers are asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident or who may recognize this suspect to contact Delaware State Police Troop 5 at 302-337-1090. Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword "DSP" plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).  Tipsters may also provide information through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333. Callers can also submit information via the internet at
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