August 14, 2019

Authorities have announced the arrest of a third juvenile suspect after several new cars, including five police model vehicles, were recovered on Tuesday after being stolen from a dealership in Milford.

On Thursday, Dover police arrested a 15-year-old, who was taken into custody by Delaware State Police. The juvenile was charged with third-degree burglary, illegal gang participation, theft of $1,55 or greater, eight counts of theft of a motor vehicle, and more.

The 15-year-old is being held at the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services: Stevenson House Detention Center in default of $3,850 secured bail.  The juvenile was ordered to appear in Kent County Family Court for an arraignment at a later date.

This latest arrest is in connection with an investigation that got underway at around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday when Milford police responded to IG Burton on North Rehoboth Boulevard for a report of eight new vehicles being stolen, according to Det. John Horsman.

The vehicles included five 2019 Police Model Dodge Chargers with no emergency equipment, two 2019 Dodge Durangos, and a Dodge RAM 2500 Quad Cab.

Horsman said detectives followed leads that led them to the Dover area, where both City of Dover and Delaware State Police assisted Milford officers in finding the vehicles.

Dover police officers had found all eight vehicles by 9:30 p.m. and the cars have since been secured in police impounds, he said.

Cpl. Mark Hoffman, a Dover Police Department spokesman, said the first vehicle was recovered shortly before 2:54 p.m. following a short pursuit involving one of the Dodge Chargers.

The car was spotted in the area of North New Street and fled after officers attempted to stop it, Hoffman said.

“The vehicle stopped in the area of Lakewood Place and Ross Street and all three occupants fled from the vehicle,” he said.

All three suspects were taken into custody by police, though Hoffman noted the car struck a tree because it was left in drive when the operator and passenger bailed out. The vehicle could be seen on Tuesday with exterior damage on its passenger and front sides. 

Dover police said another six of the eight additional vehicles that had been stolen were discovered by officers throughout the day before officers eventually spotted the remaining vehicle, a Dodge Durango, about 8:30 p.m. in the Camden area.

Hoffman said that the operator of that vehicle also fled when it police attempted to pull the car over near Upper King Road at Walnut Shade Road.

Following that attempted traffic stop, the car fled into the Town of Camden, continued northbound on Old Camden Road, and crossed each lane of South DuPont Highway and the people inside the vehicle ran off into the area of Asbury Avenue near an Auto Zone, Hoffman said.

“None of the suspects in that vehicle were captured at the time, but investigating officers are pursuing valuable leads in that case,” he said.

Police said the three people were arrested following the first pursuit.

Darius Payne-Bennett, 20 of Dover, was released on an own recognizance bond on the following offenses:

– Disregard Police Signal
– Receiving Stolen Property (4x)
– Reckless Endangering (2x)
– Resisting Arrest
– Conspiracy 3rd Degree
– Multiple Traffic Offenses
– Disorderly Conduct
– Capias

One 16-year-old boy was released on unsecured bond on the following offenses:

– Resisting Arrest
– Conspiracy 3rd Degree
– Disorderly Conduct
– Capias

A second 16-year-old boy was also released on unsecured bond for having a capias but faced no new charges. And on Thursday, the third suspect, the aforementioned 15-year-old was taken into custody.

This investigation is still an active and ongoing investigation.