Troopers have arrested two suspects in connection with two August armed robberies in the New Castle-area, according to Director of Public Information, Sgt. Richard Bratz.
On August 21, 2018, Troopers with the Delaware State Police opened up an investigation into the armed robbery of the New Castle Pizza Hut, located at 1508 Beaver Brook Plaza.
Authorities say that just before 11:00 on that Tuesday night, a masked gunman entered the pizza restaurant and ordered employees to turn over the money from the register.
Employees complied with the suspect’s demands before he fled the scene on foot towards the Pine Valley Apartments, according to Bratz.
Just days later, in the early morning hours of Monday, August 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy, located at 2034 New Castle Avenue, and demanded that the store clerk hand over the cash in the register.
As the cash was handed over, the clerk and the gunman began a struggle over the gun, which ended with a round being fired into the ceiling, according to Bratz. The suspect then fled the scene out the back door.
During the investigation into both robberies, Troopers developed Maria Simpson and David R. Ramirez as suspects in both robberies, according to Bratz.
On October 2, 2018, detectives from the Delaware State Police robbery unit executed a search warrant at Simpson’s residence and warrants were issued for Ramirez for the Rite Aid Pharmacy robbery.
Three days later on October 5, Troopers observed Ramirez driving near the Christiana Mall. They then observed him park and enter the building near the food court.
As he exited the mall, Troopers maintaining surveillance of Ramirez took him and another man, that had exited the mall with him, into custody as they approached Ramirez’s vehicle.
The man with Ramirez, later identified with as Elliot S. Colon, 24 of Orlando, Florida, was in possession of a loaded Kel Tec 9 MM handgun equipped with a silencer and an obliterated serial number, numerous rounds of ammunition, an extended magazine, masks, gloves, and dark clothing, according to Bratz.
Troopers executed a search warrant on the vehicle, at which time it was found to contain a loaded Ruger 9 MM handgun equipped with a silencer and an obliterated serial number, according to Bratz.
Bratz also said that vehicle contained evidence linking the suspects to the Rite Aid robbery. He did not indicate how the pair was linked to the Pizza Hut robbery.
Colon was charged with Possession of a Firearm by Person Prohibited, Possession of ammunition by Person Prohibited, Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Destructive Weapon (silencer), and Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number. Colon was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 2 and was committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in default of $50,000.00 cash bond. Bratz said Colon was convicted of possessing a controlled substance in Florida in 2015 and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
David Ramirez, 28 of New Castle, was charged with two counts of Robbery 1st degree, two counts Reckless Endangering, Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy 2nd degree, Wearing a Disguise during Felony, Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Destructive Weapon (Silencer), and Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number. Ramirez was committed to Howard R. Young in default of $226,000.00 cash bond.
Maria D. Simpson, 31 of New Castle, turned herself into Troop 2 and was charged with two counts of Robbery 1st, Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony and Conspiracy 2nd degree. She was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court 11 and released on $65,000.00 unsecured bond.