Bear – Delaware State Police with the assistance of the New Castle County Police, have arrested Thomas Watson, 33, of Bear, for his involvement in a string of armed robberies, after a stand-off with police yesterday afternoon, at a Bear area residence, Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin.
Austin said beginning on December 30, 2017, Troopers began investigating a series of armed robberies that were occurring in the Bear/Newark/Glasgow vicinity, in which the suspect’s description and actions were similar. With information provided by New Castle County Police detectives, regarding a similar robbery that they were actively investigating, Watson was developed as a suspect.
On Thursday, January 25, 2018, at approximately 3:12 p.m., Troopers responded to an armed robbery that had just occurred at the 24/7 Food Mart, located at 2445 Pulaski Highway, Newark, in which a white male suspect approached the cashier, displayed a handgun and demanded money. Utilizing the intelligence information previously provided by the New Castle County Police, Watson was positively identified as the suspect in this incident. Detectives were also able to ascertain that Watson fled the scene in a blue Ford Taurus.
While assisting with the search for Watson, Delaware State Police helicopter Trooper 4 located a blue Ford Taurus and was able to maintain visual contact with the vehicle, as it pulled in to the driveway of a residence in the unit block of Primrose Drive, in the development of Brennan Estates, Bear. Troopers responded to the residence and were able to confirm the presence of both Watson and the Ford.
Due to Watson being armed with a handgun, a perimeter was immediately set up, which contained Watson within the residence. As a precautionary measure adjacent residences were notified of the situation and subsequently evacuated.
The Delaware State Police Special Operations & Response Team (SORT) responded to the residence and were able to take Watson in to custody without incident. Also taken in to custody was Jeannie M. Yu, 36, of Wilmington, who was observed moving the suspect vehicle from the driveway to the side yard of the residence, in an attempt to conceal it.
Through various investigative measures, along with evidence collected during a search of the residence, Watson was able to be linked to the below-listed robberies.
Valero 4434 Summit Bridge Rd. (12/30/17)
VIP Cleaners 2430 Pulaski Hwy. (01/09/18)
24/7 Food Mart 2445 Pulaski Hwy. (01/10/18)
Salem Dry Cleaners 16 Salem Village Square (01/15/18)
Tai Chi Spa 1231 Quintilio Dr. (01/16/18)
24/7 Food Mart 2445 Pulaski Hwy. (01/25/18)
New Castle County Police also have warrants on file for Watson, charging him with the robbery of the 7-11, located at 60 Gerald Drive, Newark, which occurred on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.
Watson was transported to Delaware State Police Troop 2 where he was arrested and charged with 7 counts of Robbery 1st Degree. He was then arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #2, before being committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $140,000.00 cash bail.
Yu was arrested and charged with 1 count each of Conspiracy 2nd Degree and Tampering with Physical Evidence. She was also arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court #2, before being committed to the Dolores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in lieu of $2000.00 cash bail.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the Troop 2 Robbery Unit at 302-365-8566. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com
Update: Bear – The armed robbery suspect who was being contained inside a residence, in the unit block of Primrose Drive, in the development of Brennan Estates, Bear, has been taken into custody without incident, according to Troopers.
There will be ongoing police activity in the in the area as the investigation continues.
Bear – Delaware State Police are currently on scene at a residence in the unit block of Primrose Drive in the development of Brennan Estates, Bear, where an armed robbery suspect is confirmed to be located. A police perimeter has been set up which has contained the suspect and measures are underway to take him into custody.
Adjacent residences have been evacuated as a precautionary measure and all others are being asked to avoid the area. Anyone who observes any suspicious activity in the area is asked to call 911.
Some residents of the Brennan Estates neighborhood are currently being diverted away from the area of Primrose Drive due to police action.
At approximately 3:20 this afternoon State Police and New Castle County Police flooded the neighborhood and have blocked access to several streets. Troopers have surrounded a home in the cul-de-sac at the end of Primrose Drive.
The scene is just a few blocks from Olive B Loss Elementary School.
Updates with further information will be released as it becomes available or as is necessary.