Two thieves nabbed by police early yesterday morning were in compliance with Governor John Carney’s latest mandate on wearing masks in public.
Unfortunately, the duo were breaking other criminal laws at the time, as they were apprehended robbing cars in a Hockessin neighborhood.
Reports of suspicious activity brought New Castle County Police to the scene at 3:45 am at Letitia Drive in Stenning Woods, where they saw that several vehicles had been vandalized. A search of the area led police to a PT Cruiser attempting to leave the neighborhood – when an officer attempted to stop the vehicle, it sped up and the officer had to dodge it to avoid injury.
Officers pursued, and came across fresh tire marks going through a grassy area between two houses. The tracks led to the PT Cruiser abandoned in the treeline by a retention pond.
Police caught up with 21-year-old Jason Haith of Dover, walking through the neighborhood wearing a dark hooded jacket and dark pants.
Officers were also able to obtain surveillance video that showed Haith and a second male entering unlocked vehicles on Letitia Drive.
A short time later officers stopped 29-year-old Kyree Custis of Smyrna attempting to cross Limestone road on foot. Custis was observed wearing a blue hooded jacket and dark-colored pants. Custis was also taken into custody and subsequently identified as the driver of the PT Cruiser.
Search warrants were executed on the vehicle and stolen items recovered.
Although the thieves were wearing their masks, they were both cited for failure to obey an emergency order – the COVID-19 stay at home mandate – as their crime spree would not be designated “essential activity.”
Jason Haith was charged with five counts of felony Burglary 3rd, four counts of misdemeanor Theft, one count of felony Conspiracy 2nd, and one count misdemeanor Fail to Obey an Emergency Order (ref Covid-19 stay at home). Haith was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 11 and released on $16,500 unsecured bail.
Kyree Custis was charged with one count of felony Reckless Endangering, one count of felony Disregard a Police Officer Signal, one count of felony Conspiracy 2nd, one count of misdemeanor Criminal Impersonation, four counts of felony Burglary 3rd, four counts of misdemeanor theft and one count of misdemeanor Fail to Obey an Emergency Order (ref Covid-19 stay at home). Custis was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11 and held in lieu of $20,800 cash bail.
Police say all the stolen property has been released to the victims except for a watch.