Laurel homeowner fires shotgun at suspected robber

LAUREL — A 44-year-old Laurel man was arrested Thursday after an alleged burglary in which the homeowner fired a round of bird shot at his car as he fled, police said.

Delaware State Police said the incident occurred at 2:30 p.m. when troopers were dispatched to a residence in the 12000 block of Chipmans Pond Road for a report of a burglary. The 78-year-old male homeowner explained he had just returned to his residence when he observed a black car in his driveway and damage to a window. Some of his belongings were underneath the window.

Once inside the residence the homeowner observed more of his property on the floor near the damaged window, police said. He was startled by a man later identified as Robert L. Jefferson allegedly running through the house carrying some of the homeowner’s belongings.

Robert L. Jefferson

Robert L. Jefferson

Police said the homeowner grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun and began searching for the suspect in his house, making several announcements that he was armed. The homeowner spotted Mr. Jefferson running through his yard toward his (Jefferson’s) vehicle, police said. Once he entered the car, the homeowner fired one bird-shot round at the car, shattering the passenger’s side window. The suspect was able to drive away from the residence in an unknown direction, police said.

A general bulletin was put out over the radio with a description of the vehicle, which was soon located in the parking lot of the Laurel Food Lion by officers from Laurel Police Department, police said.

The officers observed Mr. Jefferson entering the store and found him hiding in the rear where he was taken into custody without incident, according to authorities. He was turned over to troopers at the scene and transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released with a minor abrasion to his back that may have been caused by one of the pellets.

Mr. Jefferson was transported to Troop 4 in Georgetown and charged with second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, theft under $1,500 where a victim is 62 or older, and criminal mischief. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on $5,000 secured bond.
Police said the homeowner has not been charged with any crime.

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