Seaford/Laurel – The Delaware State Police have arrested one subject and are seeking the public’s assistance in locating two others that were involved in the theft of bus batteries, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier.
Fournier said that the thefts occurred sometime through the nighttime hours of Tuesday September 13, 2016 into Wednesday September 14, 2016 at the Lambden Bus Company parking lot located in the 10000 block of Airport Road, Seaford and the Mary Bryant Inc. Bus Company located in the 30000 block of Dukes Road, Laurel. Around 6:00 a.m., bus drivers began showing up to start their buses and when they didn’t start, they noticed batteries missing from the engine compartment.
Troopers responded to the two separate locations, which are approximately 7.5 miles apart, and the investigation revealed that an unknown suspect(s) removed 30 batteries by unknown means from 10 buses in the Lambden yard and 11 batteries from 5 buses in the Bryant yard before fleeing undetected.
On Thursday September 15, 2016, troopers responded to the 8000 block of Bethel Road, Laurel for a report of theft of 34 batteries from 17 buses parked on a farm. The buses, which are used to assist in harvesting watermelons, contained two batteries per bus which were all dismantled by unknown means sometime between September 8, 2016 and the date they were reported missing.
Detectives learned later that same day that Thomas R. Johnson , 25 of Laurel, had scrapped a large amount of batteries at the Salisbury Scrap Metal located in Salisbury, Maryland, according to Fournier. Further investigation revealed Thomas, along with Dominic J. Horsey, 28 of Laurel, and , Jason M. Hamilton, 29 of Laurel, had been scraping batteries for money at that same location since the beginning of the month, said Fournier.
On Tuesday September 20, 2016 Jason Hamilton turned himself into detectives at Troop 4 in Georgetown where he was charged with Theft $1500 or Greater (Felony), four counts of Theft Under $1500, three counts of Conspiracy 3rd, and three counts of Criminal Trespass. He was arraigned at JP2 and released on a $7,000.00 unsecured bond.
Image Credits: Delaware State Police