Delaware State Police arrested Brandon Gardner, 18, of New Castle, for a carjacking that occurred early Sunday morning at a New Castle convenience store, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Heather Pepper.
Pepper said on January 30, 2022, at approximately 6:39 a.m., a 70-year-old male parked his 2008 Honda Civic at the air pump at Wawa located at 1515 N. DuPont Hwy. The male was pumping air into his tires when two unknown individuals approached his vehicle from the nearby bus stop.
As the victim was kneeling, one of the suspects entered the driver’s compartment as the other stood on the passenger side of the Honda. The victim tried to physically remove the suspect from the car as the suspect placed the vehicle in reverse and drove off said Pepper. For fear of being physically harmed, the victim exited his vehicle.
Two individuals at Wawa witnessed the incident, and both followed the stolen vehicle through the Wawa parking lot, around the rear of the complex, and onto Bacon Avenue. The suspect then crashed the Honda into a fence on a residential property located in the 100 block of Bacon Avenue.
As the suspect crashed, the two witnesses blocked the sides of the car so it could no longer move. The suspect climbed out the vehicle window and fled the scene on foot as the witnesses provided police with the suspects’ description. Approximately 30 minutes after the collision, officers observed a subject matching the suspects’ description near the bus stop in front of the Fairfield Inn and Suites, approximately one mile north of Wawa.
When the suspect observed the officer, he crossed over US13 and began walking northbound on US13 in front of Gracelawn Memorial Cemetery. When troopers exited their marked police cars, the suspect fled on foot into a nearby neighborhood said Pepper. He was eventually apprehended and taken into custody without incident. At that time, he was identified as Brandon Gardner. Gardner was treated by Christiana EMS for minor cuts sustained after climbing over a barbed-wire fence. The victim was not injured during the incident. Gardner was transported to Delaware State Police Troop 2, where he was charged with the following crimes:
Robbery First Degree (Felony)
Criminal Mischief Over $1,000
Criminal Mischief Under $1,000
Driving Without a Valid License
Failed to Remain Within a Single Lane
Gardner was arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #11 and committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on an $11,000.00 cash bond.
The other male with Gardner has not been identified at this time. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Ryan Kirchenbauer with Delaware State Police Troop 2 Criminal Investigations Unit by calling 302-365-8525.