Troopers Investigate Series of Armed Robberies
Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Jeffrey R. Hale
New Castle County – Delaware State Police are currently investigating three armed robberies and an attempted armed robbery that occurred at several businesses located in Newark and Wilmington yesterday.
The first incident occurred on Monday, November 28, 2016 at approximately 10:25 a.m., as a male suspect entered the 7-11 located at 699 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Newark. The suspect then displayed an unknown make and model handgun and confronted a male employee of the store. He then demanded cash from the store register. The employee complied with the suspect’s demands and turned over an undisclosed amount of money to him. He then exited the store and fled in an unknown direction. There were no injuries.
The suspect was described as a black male. He was 25-30 years of age, 5’07” tall, 210-215 lbs., and was last seen wearing a red shirt, grey and black jacket, black pants, and red and white sneakers.
The second incident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m., as three male suspects entered the Sunoco A-Plus located at 1950 Maryland Avenue, Wilmington. Two of the suspects, who were both armed with unknown make and model handguns, confronted two store employees and demanded cash from the registers. One of the suspects fired two rounds from his handgun into the floor as they were demanding cash from the employees. As this was occurring, the third suspect, who was also armed, stood at the door of the store acting as a lookout. The employees complied with the suspect’s demands and turned over an undisclosed amount of money to them. All three of the suspects then exited the store and were last seen fleeing on foot in an eastbound direction. There were no injuries.
After further investigation, which included conducting interviews and the examination of physical evidence, troopers believe that the same three suspects possibly committed the armed robbery of the Wawa, located at 705 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, on Monday, October 24, 2016, as well as the armed robbery of the 7-11 located at 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wilmington, on the same day.
The suspects were all described as unknown race males. They were approximately 6’00” tall and were dressed in all dark clothing.
The third robbery occurred at approximately 8:27 p.m. yesterday as two black males entered the Shore Stop/BP located at 3507 Miller Road, Wilmington. Both of the suspects, one of which was armed with an unknown make and model handgun, confronted a female employee and demanded money from the registers. The victim complied with the suspects demands and turned over an undisclosed amount of cash to them. The suspects also removed the victim’s cell phone before exiting the business and fleeing in a southeast direction. There were no injuries.
At approximately 8:44 p.m., two male suspects entered the Dollar Tree located at 3602 Miller Road, Wilmington. The suspects, one of which was armed with a handgun, confronted a male employee and ordered him to open the door to the office. The employee, however, was unable to open the door. Both suspects then exited the store and fled in an unknown direction without obtaining any property. There were no injuries.
The suspects in both incidents which occurred on Miller Road were described as black males 16-20 years of age. They were 5’08”-5’11” tall, and weighed 140-160 lbs. One of the suspects was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, white sneakers, and had a mask partially covering his face. He was also armed with a gun. The second suspect was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black shoes, black pants, and had a mask partially covering his face. It has not been determined if the same suspects were involved in both incidents, however.
There are no video surveillance photos available to be released at this time.
The Delaware State Police would like to remind the business community that robbery prevention is something business owners need to cover with new hires as well as current employees on a regular basis.
Anytime there is money in a place, there is a chance that someone will want that money, and is willing to use force to get it. You can take some simple steps to help reduce the chances that you, or your business, will be robbed. There is no way to fully prevent robbery, but you can reduce the odds of becoming a victim.
Methods for Discouraging a Robber
- Lock unused doors.
- Avoid working alone. If you must work alone, turn on a radio or TV so robbers will think there is someone with you.
- Vary the schedule and route you take for your bank deposits each day, keep only the necessary cash on hand.
- Make sure your cash register is clearly visible to passers-by.
- Avoid placing signs or displays near windows, because they block visibility from the street.
- Display signs at entrances and exits indicating that safes require secondary keys, which are not in the possession of employees.
- Advertise your security alarm system with signs in visible locations.
- Place colored markings at the exits to estimate the suspect’s height as they leave.
- A robbery may be over in less than a minute. You need a quick eye to get a good look at the robber. That’s why some stores place hidden cameras behind cash registers.
If a Robbery Occurs
- Call police immediately by dialing 9-1-1, before calling anyone else.
- Someone points a gun at you and demands your money. What do you do? Give it to him/her! Never refuse a robber.
- Remain calm. You will be able to give a better description to the police. Most robbers do not harm the victim.
- Do not resist. Cooperate with the robber, but do not volunteer any information or do anything other than what he asks. He may be armed and may harm you or others if you do not cooperate. Listen carefully to him/her, and pay attention to the robber’s appearance and demeanor.
- Try to avoid sudden moves. Many robbers are just as nervous as you are.
- The most important thing to do if you’re robbed is to do as you’re told and try to observe. The description of the suspect that you give to the police may be the only information they have to work with.
Steps to Take After a Robbery
- Wait until the suspect has left the store and then sound the alarm.
- Call 9-1-1. Tell the dispatcher the name and address of your business. Give a brief description of the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle if known.
- Ask customers to stay and wait for the police.
- When your witnesses have agreed to stay, lock the doors until the police arrive.
- Preserve the crime scene and make sure the witnesses are aware that they should not touch anything that the suspect may have touched.
- Ask all witnesses and staff members to write down their observations of the suspect description.
If anyone has any information in reference to this incident they are asked to contact the Robbery Unit at Troop 2 at 302-365-8566. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
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Released: 112916 0930