OCEAN CITY, Md.- Delaware State Police detectives have arrested a couple in connection with a series of burglaries alleged to have occurred in the Frankford, Millville, Ocean View and Bethany Beach areas of southern Sussex County.
According to investigators, on Sunday, Oct. 28, an officer with the Ocean View Police Department conducted a traffic stop on 22-year-old Jake N. Fox of Frankford and 24-year-old Heidi M. Hitchens of Dagsboro. A computer check on the pair revealed that they were both wanted. Police said a subsequent search of the couple's car revealed items that were reported stolen from the local area. Detectives from DSP Troop 4 in Georgetown were contacted to assist in the investigation because much of the area where the burglaries and thefts occurred was outside Ocean View town limits.
State police detectives, along with the Ocean View Police and Bethany Beach police departments, began an investigation into a rash of burglaries that had been reported in their areas and were able to uncover reports leading back to November of 2011. Police said the crimes entailed the suspects entering unoccupied homes and removing items ranging from jewelry, televisions, electronic devices, cash and even prescription medications. Most of the items were then taken to local pawn shops in exchange for cash, according to detectives.
Both Fox and Hitchens were taken into custody and brought back to the Ocean View Police Department. Hitchens was arraigned on warrants that were filed by state police from Oct. 24, for three counts of issuing a bad check and released on unsecured bond. She was then charged by state police with third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, second-degree conspiracy and theft of services and later released on unsecured bond.
Following the state police completion into the investigation of the series burglaries in southern Sussex County, Hitchens turned herself in to Troop 4 on Monday, Nov. 12, where she was booked on an additional 25 charges ranging from second-degree burglary, felony theft, conspiracy and criminal trespass. She was released on $9,700 unsecured bond.
Fox was arraigned on burglary and other charges out of the Ocean View Police Department, as well as charges filed by DSP including third-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, second-degree conspiracy and theft of services. He was ordered held in the Sussex Correctional Institution on a secured bond.
State police detectives said they were able to locate over 20 victims of the crimes committed by the couple and on Nov. 7, additionally charged Fox with 112 counts ranging from second-degree burglary, felony theft, conspiracy and criminal trespass. He is currently being held in SCI on $63,100 secured bond.
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