Teamwork, citizen's help lead to arrest

Last week, we used this space to alert local business owners about a string of armed robberies in the area. We also emphasized that people needed to let the police do their jobs, and not try to take the law into their own hands.

As is so often the case with deadlines at a weekly paper, the suspects were apprehended before most of you even had a chance to pick up last week’s publication. But that does go to our original point — law enforcement took the string of robberies very seriously, worked together across department lines and peacably brought in two suspects they believe were responsible for the crimes.

According to Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin, a crucial piece of evidence in the case came when a citizen brought a surveillance camera near Holt’s Liquors to the attention of the OVPD. His department then located a vehicle that looked like the one caught on camera, contacted the Delaware State Police (who were leading the investigation) and a search warrant was obtained.

The OVPD and State Special Operations Response Team (SORT) then went to the house and arrested the two suspects without incident, according to McLaughlin.

Throughout this investigation, we have been in contact with the state police and Selbyville Police Chief Scott Collins. They were putting together a decent amount of information on this crime through eyewitness investigations, and they appeared to be working together through the entire process, since the majority of the crimes took place in Selbyville or unincorporated areas that fall in the DSP jurisdiction.

That information was sent out to the other departments in the area, and it was Ocean View police who were able to come through with some critical information that ultimately led to an arrest.

“It really was a team effort,” said McLaughlin. You cannot operate in a vacuum. We can’t simply throw up four walls around the town of Ocean View and put on our blinders and say, ‘We’re not going to worry about anything unless it occurs within these four walls.’ This is a prime example of that.”

Indeed it is. We wish to congratulate and thank the DSP, Selbyville Police Department and Ocean View Police Department for their roles in apparently stopping these crimes. But credit must also go out to all the departments in the area who kept their eyes open and made this truly a team effort, and one citizen who made a difference the right way.