Police: Firearms stolen in Smyrna vehicle break-ins

SMYRNA — A rifle and shotgun were stolen from an unlocked vehicle early Monday morning, bringing the arrest of a 29-year-old Smyrna man, police said.

Patrol officers were dispatched to the Bombay Woods neighborhood at approximately 1:30 a.m. after a citizen called about vehicles being burglarized, Smyrna Police spokesman Cpl. Brian Donner said.

Officers arriving at th scene stopped a vehicle that was seen leaving the neighborhood and police said Donahue Ellis III was detained in the area of White Rabbit Drive and Smyrna Leipsic Road.

According to police, nearby residents identified Mr. Ellis as the person allegedly burglarizing unlocked vehicles.
Police said Mr. Ellis was allegedly in possession of items stolen from vehicles, including loose change and cash, handbags and GPS units.

Donahue Ellis III

A detective was told the firearms were stolen and they were located in a woods area on Golden Plover Drive in the neighborhood, authorities said.
“The firearms were initially seized as evidence but will be returned to their rightful owner as soon as possible,” Cpl. Donner said.
Mr. Ellis was charged with three counts of third-degree burglary, two counts each of attempted burglary and theft of firearm and a count of theft under $1,500.

He was released on an own recognizance bond via video court through Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach pending a future premliminary hearing.

No vehicles were damaged, Cpl. Donner said.
Police advised the public that locked vehicles greatly diminish the chance of a burglary.

“Nearly every single vehicle burglary we investigate involves an unlocked vehicle,” Cpl. Donner said. “In very rare instances, criminals will force entry if they can visibly see valuables.

“If you lock your car and don’t leave any valuables visible your chances of victimization to these types of crimes is nearly zero.”

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