Police fighting the good fight in tough battle

Sometimes, criminal cases are solved by investigators chasing down leads or forensics teams finding that microscopic piece of evidence that can link a crime with a suspect. Well, at least, that’s what they tell us on television and in the movies.

However, in our experiences, many cases get solved because somebody ran his or her mouth to the wrong person, or a vigilant police officer noticed something unusual and decided to trust his or her instincts. And that, according to police, is how an arrest was made recently in Ocean View of two burglary suspects.

Ocean View Police Officer Sidney Ballentine was reportedly on storm patrol during Hurricane Sandy, and noticed what he considered to be a suspicious car in Savannah’s Landing. Ballantine reportedly recognized one of the people in the car, ran the name on his trusty computer and discovered she was wanted by Delaware State Police for passing bad checks. He then discovered the male in the car was also wanted, and he took the pair into custody on the warrants charges.

Following the arrests, police discovered items in the car that were reported stolen, according to police. “A search of the vehicle revealed items in the car that linked them to area crimes,” explained Ocean View Police Sgt. Heath Hall.

The Ocean View police decided to conduct a door-to-door search in Savannah’s Landing, and they found an open window on Judith’s Turn at 1 a.m.

“They were actually coming from a burglary that they had just perpetrated when Sgt. Ballentine found them,” said Hall.

After working with the Delaware State Police and Bethany Beach Police Department, the pair was ultimately hit with more than 100 charges. If proven to be guilty, this pair was hitting the area hard.

And good, old-fashioned police work helped solve the crime, and hopefully prevented many more from happening down the line.

Police believe the recent string of burglaries in the area — not just those purported to be done by these suspects — is due to a growing heroin problem in the area, and we have to agree with them.

A few years ago, the biggest drug problem in our community appeared to be the abuse of prescription medication, but tougher new laws and restrictions, along with national and local drug disposal days, have made those pills harder to obtain for criminals. Police believe they have moved on to heroin.

As long as there are illegal drugs that cause addiction, there will be crimes intended to raise money to feed those addictions. A smart, attentive local police presence can help us all.