Following the receipt of numerous complaints regarding stolen lawn ornaments, the Ocean View Police Department and Delaware State Police Troop 4 were recently able to arrest Randy P. Holderbaum and Matthew L. Donoway, both of Frankford, in connection to the crimes.
“They were going around stealing the big concrete lawn ornaments,” said OVPD Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw of the charges. “They’re easy items to sell, easy items to pawn. A lot of them aren’t traceable because they don’t have serial numbers. From my experience, if someone is trying to sell you something out of the back of a truck, don’t buy it,” he advised.
Through interviews, detectives were able to get a description of Holderbaum’s vehicle, and located him at his home on Bethany Drive in Frankford. Upon arrival, officers said they observed that the vehicle’s trunk was partially open, and they said they could see lawn ornaments sitting in the trunk of the vehicle.
They then made contact with Holderbaum, who allegedly told officers that Donoway had been using his vehicle. He also informed the officers that Donoway had fled out the rear of the residence when law-enforcement arrived.
“Some of the ones they recovered, we still haven’t found the victims of yet. So, if anyone’s missing anything, let Ocean View, South Bethany or the state police know,” said Bradshaw. “We have some items between us and state police. They could describe the items, and we’ll be able to tell if we have the items or not.”
Through further investigation, police said, officers were able to track additional stolen lawn ornaments to residences in Dagsboro, to whose residents they had allegedly been sold. One individual who had allegedly bought the items reportedly told police that he had purchased them from a subject who identified himself as “Matt.”
Police said further interviews with Holderbaum determined that he and Donoway were allegedly involved in several thefts in the Ocean View, South Bethany and Frankford areas.
Holderbaum was charged with two counts of trespassing third degree, one count of theft under 1500, two counts of conspiracy 3rd degree and one count of conspiracy 2nd degree. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
At the time of his arrest, Donoway had active warrants from the Ocean View police and South Bethany police on charges of theft, trespassing and conspiracy. He is being held at Worcester County Detention Center in Maryland.
Bradshaw said the public should be cautious when being approached by a stranger selling items out of their car.
“If you are approached by somebody, try to get a vehicle make, license number and description so we can investigate and try to look into the items,” he said. “I’ve been approached before about tools. I know, me, personally, I don’t just give up my tools and sell them out of the back of my truck.”
Anyone who believes one or more of their lawn ornaments was stolen should contact the Ocean View Police Department at (302) 539-1111.