The Delaware State Police this week arrested two Millsboro men in connection with multiple thefts from construction sites.
According to the DSP, in December 2019, troopers began investigating numerous reports of thefts from construction sites in the Independence development in Millsboro and the Governors development in Lewes. Large amounts of building material, consisting of lumber, plumbing supplies, countertops, windows, doors and other miscellaneous items, were reported stolen, police said.
Police said that on April 17, around 1 a.m., troopers located a white Ford F350 hauling a large double-axle trailer in the Independence development. The truck and trailer were located parked in front of a residence under construction. The driver of the pickup truck was contacted and identified as Winfield Heckrote, 66, of Millsboro.
At that time, police said, Heckrote advised them that he was “dumpster diving” and had been given permission to do so. Through further investigation, it was determined that Heckrote was not provided permission to go through the dumpsters, according to the DSP.
The Troop 4 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU) and Governor’s Task Force (GTF) later went to Heckrote’s residence on Harmons Hill Road in Millsboro and located a large amount of building material behind the residence, police reported.
A camper was also located on the property, in which James McMullin, 52, was residing, police said. A search of numerous outbuildings belonging to Heckrote was conducted, which led to the discovery of more building materials. The building materials were confirmed as allegedly being stolen from the construction sites belonging to Schell Brothers.
On April 22, Heckrote and McMullin were taken into custody at their residence without incident. They were transported back to Troop 4, where they were charged.
Winfield Heckrote and James McMullin were each charged with Burglary Second Degree, four felony counts of Theft, three counts of Theft, Fail to Obey an Emergency Order and five counts of Criminal Trespass Third Degree. Both were arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and released on their own recognizance.