Ocean View police recently arrested an Ocean View man on drug- and traffic-related charges after spotting his car speeding down a local street. That routine traffic stop led police to connect the man to a recent burglary in which a handgun and ammunition had been stolen. It’s just one of the many cases in which local police have a made arrests on more serious charges after spotting a minor vehicular violation.
The OVPD stopped Wesley A Cheseldine on Woodland Avenue on Jan. 28, for going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. OVPD Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw said that, during the stop, Cheseldine was found to have a suspended driver’s license. As is policy, the vehicle was towed from the site.
“Whenever we tow a car, we do an inventory search,” explained Bradshaw. “During the inventory search is when we located the heroin, crack cocaine and two .380 hollow-point bullets,” he said, noting that the vehicle had contained .03 grams of raw heroin and .03 grams of crack cocaine along with the two bullets.
Bradshaw noted that during the stop Cheseldine had pulled into the Providence development, where he resides. At the same time, Delaware State Police Troop 4 officers were also in the development, investigating a burglary at the home of Cheseldine’s neighbor.
When discussing with detectives as to what was missing from the burgled home, OVPD learned that a .380 caliber handgun had been stolen. Bradshaw said OVPD officers informed DSP troopers that bullets matching the caliber of the missing gun were recovered in Cheseldine’s car.
“Through investigation, he did come to admit that he had stolen the gun and traded it to a subject in Dagsboro for the drugs.”
Cheseldine was charged with possession of heroin, possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and numerous traffic offenses. After Cheseldine was processed on the Ocean View charges, he was turned over to the Delaware State Police Troop 4 detectives for pending charges.
“I stop a lot of people for tag lights. You’d be shocked by what you can end up getting for just a simple tag-light violation. You can get drugs, suspended licenses, wanted subjects, just from minor violations,” said Bradshaw.
OVPD officers take classes such as “Go Beyond the Traffic Stop” to learn tips on how to garner more information from a typical traffic stop.
“Yeah, you may stop them for speeding, but go beyond the speeding,” said Bradshaw. “‘Where you going?’ ‘Where are you coming from?’ … You never know what you might find.”
Bradshaw estimated that about one traffic stop each week will yield an arrest for drugs, DUI or a wanted person.
He noted that many burglaries in the area are drug-related.
“They’re stealing things to pawn or trade for cash or drugs. That’s what most of them are.”
To help keep their residences safe, Bradshaw suggests residents lock the doors to their homes and cars, and leave lights by outside doors on at night and, if possible, use motion-sensor lights.
“Security systems are great. You can’t beat a dog. I have two of them, and if anyone comes near my house they go nuts,” he said. “If you see anyone suspicious in your neighborhood that you’ve never seen before,” he added, “there’s no harm in calling. Call us, and we’ll come check them out.”
The OVPD also conducts Crime Prevention Checks, where they will go out and check on a person who has been reported to them as suspicious.
“We’ll just stop you: ‘Hey, what’s your name?’ ‘Do you have ID with you?’ We’ll tell them, ‘Someone called and said you looked suspicious.’ We fill out a form and put it in the report. That way, if we do have burglaries in that area, we can look at who we’ve stopped in that area.”
The department also continues to do residence checks, in which those who are leaving their home for a period of time may sign up, for free, at the station to have their home checked regularly by police. Currently, approximately 35 residences are being checked, Bradshaw said.
“We highly encourage people to come and sign up, even if you’re gone for a week,” he said, noting that homes get checked on a weekly basis, if not more often. “It’s another thing we do to help the residents feel better about the safety of their homes.”
The Ocean View Police Department is located at 201 Central Avenue in Ocean View. The department may be reached by calling (302) 539-1111.