Last week, four local men were arrested and charged after allegedly participating in a home-invasion robbery that occurred in Plantation Park near Frankford.
Antonio Pedrow, 23, of Millsboro; Earl Garrison, 51, of Georgetown; Trey Goodman, 27, of Preston, Md.; and Leroy Cooper, 27, of Selbyville were charged with numerous counts, including home invasion, conspiracy, robbery and kidnapping.
“All four of the individuals who were involved were apprehended, charged and are subsequently sitting in jail, where they should be,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.
According to police, on Jan. 10, around 9:05 p.m., the suspects arrived at a home in Plantation Park, and three of the men forcibly entered the residence, after which Pedrow pointed a handgun at the eight victims, ordering them to the floor and demanding money.
According to police, Pedrow and Garrison then allegedly forced two of the female victims to drive them to Fulton Bank in Ocean View, so they could withdrawal money from the ATM.
Ocean View police officers Sgt. Sidney Ballentine and Patrolman Justin Hopkins, as well as an off-duty South Bethany police officer, reported to the bank, where they were able to take the two men into custody without injury or incident. At that time, they recovered a small-caliber revolver inside the vehicle.
“I am extremely proud of not only how our officers handled it but all of the officers involved, including police dispatchers who provided officers information in the field,” said McLaughlin. “It’s just another classic example of how all the law enforcement agencies work together. When the chips are down, we’ve got a big event like this and a dangerous event. This was a dangerous bunch of guys, and it was just a great example of how we all pulled together.”
Goodman and Cooper had also left the Plantation Park residence and were subsequently located at Hocker’s in Clarksville, after the vehicle was identified by police.
According to the DSP, Cooper was the driver of the car and had taken the other men to the Plantation Park residence.
While police could not confirm why the men chose that particular residence, McLaughlin said it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think the crime was drug-related.
“I think it would be safe to assume that this was drug-related. Most of these crimes usually are. I think it would be a fair assumption to make that these individuals were looking to rob the victims in order to get money to purchase drugs.”
McLaughlin said that his department was familiar with Garrison, whom he said is recently out of jail and has an extensive criminal history.
“We have had encounters with him before. He is what I would consider a career criminal.”
McLaughlin said that the incident is an example of the danger local law-enforcement agents have to face on a daily basis.
“I would hope that it is [an isolated incident]. We’re still very fortunate that these types of serious crimes — especially crimes involving violence and weapons — are relatively rare in our area. But, at the same time, it can happen anywhere, and we’re not immune to it just because we’re in coastal Sussex County. You never know when it can happen, and you’ve got to constantly prepare for it and stay on guard.”
None of the victims — five female and three male, ranging in age from 14 months to 58 years old — were injured in the incident.