FELTON, Del.– Delaware State Police have arrested three suspects accused of holding up the Canterbury Shore Stop convenience store in Felton early Monday.
Police said that shortly before 3 a.m. a trooper was in the area of the Shore Stop, located at 8953 South DuPont Highway, when he observed two men acting suspiciously near the store. Police said as the trooper continued to observe the store, the two men appeared from the south side of the store and entered wearing masks.
Authorities said that as the trooper began to approach the store from the west side, he informed Kent County Emergency Operations Center of what he had observed and to have additional troopers respond to that location. Police said as the trooper drove into the parking lot of the store, the two suspects had already exited the store and ran toward Irish Hill Road where a waiting car was parked.
Police said the trooper, along with additional responding units, activated their emergency equipment in an attempt to perform a traffic stop, but the vehicle failed to stop and sped off toward Canterbury Road. Investigators said the getaway car turned southbound on Canterbury Road and accelerated at a high rate of speed in an attempt to elude the pursuing officers, but the driver lost control near the intersection of Midstate Road. The vehicle overturned with the three occupants still inside and they were all taken into custody without further incident, police said.
Troopers said an investigation were able to determine that 39-year-old Dean Smith and 26-year-old James B. Hill, both of Dover, were dropped off by a 17-year-old Dover male on the north side of the Shore Stop. Police said Smith and Hill then walked by the entrance to the south side before returning and entering the store with masks on their faces. Troopers said that armed with handguns, the two demanded cash from a 20-year-old female employee who complied and turned over an undisclosed amount of money before they fled from Shore Stop and into the waiting car being driven by the 17-year-old. The female employee was not injured in the incident, police said.
Smith and Hill were transported to Troop 3 where they were both charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony and second-degree conspiracy. Both were arraigned at the Justice of the Peace Court 2 and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $45,000 secured bond.
The 17-year-old was transported to a local hospital and admitted with non-life-threatening injuries he sustained in the crash. He was subsequently charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy, disregard of a police officer's signal, reckless driving, driving without a valid license and other traffic related offenses. He was arraigned on the charges through Family Court and placed in the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families on $100,000 cash bond until he can be released to a juvenile detention facility.