Businesses owners can rest easier now, knowing that the couple that police believe were responsible for several distraction-type thefts in the area this summer are no longer in Delaware.
Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin said this week that they had identified suspects and obtained warrants in several of the complaints.
Warrants are on file for 26-year-old Darcy L. Fray and 31-year-old Robert D. Grant. Fray was charged with theft and conspiracy by the Ocean View Police Department; and robbery, conspiracy and offensive touching by the Dagsboro Police Department. Grant was charged with theft and conspiracy by the Ocean View Police Department; robbery, conspiracy, offensive touching by the Dagsboro Police Department; and theft and burglary by Delaware State Police Troop 4.
“It is my belief that this couple was behind many similar cases the last couple months in and around Sussex County,” said McLaughlin.
One such case was a theft at Beach Cottage in Ocean View in which a female – allegedly Fray – distracted the shop owner by asking to be shown merchandise, while the male (allegedly Grant) took money from the register.
Dagsboro Police Sgt. Harry Litten said this week that Grant was currently incarcerated in a North Carolina jail and Fray was out on $20,000 bail on a separate violation.
Extradition of the two suspects to Delaware is not expected, according to police. Because the strongest charge in the local cases was the robbery charge – which stemmed from a robbery at the Clayton Theater – was only second-degree (as opposed to first-degree), and because North Carolina is more than the 250 radius for extradition, Litten explained that the Delaware Attorney General’s office will not ask for extradition of the two suspects to Delaware.
“The Delaware Attorney General extradites based on the type of charge,” explained McLaughlin. “For example, for murder, they would extradite from anywhere,” he said, noting that, with the mileage radius also being considered, North Carolina being more than 250 miles away comes into play in that decision not to extradite.
“They are still wanted in the state of Delaware,” he emphasized. “The warrants remain active. The worst case is that they stay away.”
McLaughlin added that, although the suspects might not be jailed for crimes committed in Delaware, the cases show that police departments in the area have a solid relationship with one another, and that counts for something.
“It shows the police in Sussex County, again, all working together,” McLaughlin emphasized, adding that people who are causing problems in Ocean View are likely causing problems in other area towns, as well.