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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 Police & Fire Wrap-up Milton police arrest man for sexual misconduct Milton police arrested Keith A. Gross Monday, April 7, on a war- rant for 28 counts of sec- ond-degree unlawful sexu- al contact. Gross, 50, of Marydel, Md., legally changed his name to Zafeer MIYltAMMAD Muhammad. Milton police learned Muhammad allegedly molested a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old girl in the late 1980s in Milton. Police took their case to a grand jury, and the warrant was subsequently issued. Milton police learned Muhammad was in Marydel April 3, and they contacted Maryland State Police in regard to the war- rant. He was then extradited to Delaware. Muhammad was remanded to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $81,000 secured bond, pending further court action. Damaged vehicle stolen in rural Lewes State police are seeking public assistance to locate a damaged vehicle that was stolen from prop- erty near the intersection of Jimtown Road and Beaver Dam Road. Cpl. Wes Barnett, state police spokesman, said the green 1998 Toyota Tacoma had a salvage title, because it had sustained front-end damage. Barnett said the vehicle was parked on the property and listed for sale. The pickup truck valued at approximately $1,800 appeared to have been stolen between March 17 and April 2. The victim told police the vehicle would run, but he didn't think it would run for long because there was a crack in the radiator. Police are asking anyone with information to call Troop 7 at 644-5020. Investigators determine cause of shed fire The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office determined a fire that damaged a shed on Slaughter Beach Road Sunday, April 6, was caused by a clothes dryer that was operating unattended. Police investigate fraud in Rehoboth Beach The Delaware State Police Financial Crimes Unit is investi- gating a case of forgery and fraud that occurred over a three-year period from 2003 to 2006. The victim reported the crime to state police April 3, after discovering his funds had been tampered with while he was incarcerated. Cpl. Wes Barnett, state police spokesman, said the 28-year-old male victim, of Milton, said he had been receiving quarterly checks from an insurance company as a settlement from a lawsuit he had won. He told police he had been living with the suspect prior to his imprisonment, so she was aware of the checks. When he asked the suspect about his checks, she allegedly told him the checks had stopped coming while the victim was in jail. Barnett said he then contact- ed the insurance company and learned the checks had been mailed quarterly the entire time he was incarcerated. An insurance company employee told him the Route Weekly Accident Update DATE 4/2/08 4/2/08 4/6/08 4/6/08 FOR w.Fx OF MARCH 31 - APRIL 6. 2008 LOCATION TYPE Route 1 southbound, entrance to Ace Hardware 4 Route 1 and Dartmouth Drive 2 Route 1 southbound, north of Broadkill bridge 2 Route 1 north of Dartmouth Drive 2 I "1 Route I accident information provided by Delaware State Police Troop 7 |h'iing ntlcrlhc Inl]ucHcc Re)oft Numbers: first, DUI arrests; second, DUIs in crashes; third, seat belt arrests; fourth, seat belt assessments Troop 7, Lewes Troop 5, Troop 1, Troop 6, 7, 1, 6, 4 Bri.dgeville Penny Hill Price's Comer Troop 4, . 8, 3, 2, 3 6, 0, 14, 10 16, 4, 8, 0 Georgetown Troop 3, Camden Troop 2, Glasgow Troop 9, Odessa 5, 2, 5, 6 10, 1, 21, 9 18, 7, 3, 10 6, 1, 10, 8 checks were endorsed and deposit- ed into an unknown bank account. The insurance company further told him the checks were sent to an address in Selbyville. When police reviewed copies of the checks, it appeared the signatures on them did not match the vic- tim's. The total amount of money stolen was more than $4,500, said Barnett. Troopers warn farmers of pricey copper thefts State police criminal investiga- tors are cautioning local farmers to beware of thieves targeting the copper wiring on irrigation sys- tems. Cpl. Wes Barnett, state police spokesman, said there were more than 40 reports of wire theft from irrigation systems in Kent and Sussex counties last year. "A majority of these cases go unsolved, because bandits target the irrigation machinery during the time of year when the systems are shut down," said Barnett. "The thefts are usually discovered well after the fact and reported when the irrigation systems are reacti- vated. "The average cost to mend damaged irrigation systems is often between - $6,000 and $10,000, depending on the size of the apparatus and nature of repairs, said Barnett. He said the total cost for the crimes was approximately $400,000 last year. Troopers urge farmers to con- duct regular inspections of their irrigation systems and report any suspicious activity without delay. Police are also strongly encourag- ing any theft victims to report thefts as soon as possible. Police are asking anyone with information pertaining to copper wire thefts from irrigation systems or who wish to report a theft in Sussex County to call Det. Robert Truitt of Troop at 856-5850, Ext. 222. To report information in Kent County, call Det. Dan Wright of Troop 3 at 302-697-4456, Ext. 314. Information may also be reported to Crime Stoppers at 800- TIP-3333 or online at stop.htm. Milton police lieutenant reinstated Milton Lt. John Cornwell was reinstated Friday, April 4, after being investigated by the Office of the Attorney General, which found no wrongdoing. Cornwell was placed on administrative leave March 26, acting as officer in charge during the "investigation of Chief W'dliam Phillips. In a separate incident, Phillips was placed on administrative leave and investigated by the Office of Attorney General March 14. "The Department of Justice will take no further action in regard to-this matter," said town attorney John Brady. He said he could not com- ment further. Phillips was reinstat- ed as police chief Friday, March 28,.two weeks after his mandatory dismissal. Milton Mayor Don Post said, "The chief is in charge. Everything is back to how it was." Chemical spill causes Pilottown Road closure By Henry J. Evans Jr. Cape Gazette staff A substance known as a flocu- lent, which spilled onto Pilottown Road in Lewes from the back of a Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control truck, caused police to close the street for several hours as a precaution. Lewes Police Department Chief Ronald "Beau" Gooch said the material spilled from the vehicle sometime after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 9, but the inci- dent wasn't reported to police or fire officials for several hours. Dan Brower, a Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) program manager said the materi- al that spilled is not toxic and is used to cause fine particulates suspended in water to clump together. "It's used in swimming pools and potable water and actually has an environmental benefit," Brower said. He said 50 pounds of flocculants was contained in a bag that broke open when it hit the roadway. He said the DNREC crew scooped up as much of the dry powder as possible. Brower said when the material gets wet it becomes somewhat greasy. Gooch said after he learned of the spill onto about a quarter-mile stretch of Pilottown Road between Harborview Avenue and the Lewes Dairy plant, the road was closed for about four hours. Steve Evans, Lewes Fire Department assistant chief, said the white powder turned into a gummy,, opaque, glue-like consis- tency in Wednesday's rainy con- ditions, but firefighters didn't know what it was. He said the department didn't receive a call about the spill until about 4 p.m. - after vehicles had driven through the material for several hours. Evans said firefighters spread sand on the spill, working at the scene until about 7 p.m. He said because it was an unknown sub- stance, firefighters were careful not to come in contact with it. By Thursday morning, April 10, Delaware Department of Transportation road crews had removed much of the sand and dirt used to absorb the spill. Contact Henry J. Evans Jr. at hevans Child predator task force expands, opens new office Attorney General Joseph R. Biden III, Delaware Safety and Homeland Security Secretary David B. Mitchell and Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Thomas F. MacLeish unveiled the new offices of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force during a press conference April 2, in the task force's Dover headquarters. They also announced the recent addi- tion of nearly 30 new police agen- cies to the task force. "Our kids deserve the strongest, most coordinated defense against online predators, and that's exact- ly what the Delaware Child Predator Task Force is," said Biden. "Together, we have made significant progress over the past year. Now, with these state-of- the-art facilities and new member agencies from across the state, the task force will be proactively identifying predators even earlier and getting them off the streets before they can harm our chil= dren." The Delaware Child Predator Task Force was established as the Delaware Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in June 2007 by the Delaware Department of Justice and Delaware State Police, with support from the U.S. Attorney's Office and other feder- al agencies. It has the following responsibil- ities: Investigating complaints and referrals from citizens, state and local law enforcement agencies, federal agen- cies and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Conducting proactive online investi- BIDEN . gations Participating in national online child sexual exploitation investigations Conducting prevention pro- grams that educate children and their families on internet safety. In October 2007, the task force received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, which it used to enhance its foren- sic capabilities, facilitate staff training and secure the new dedi- cated office space. With more than than 30 law enforcement agencies now mem- bers of the task force, it is repre- sentative of the vast majority of the Delaware law enforcement community. "The [Delaware Internet Crimes Against Children] Task Force and the statewide partnership are vital in the fight to protect our children and to bring child predators to jus- tice," said Mitchell. "This is a serious problem throughout the country that is more significant than shared images of child pornography. It is about the abduction, rape, sexual assault and exploitation of our children." !