Police: Gunpoint robberies should be wakeup call

SMYRNA — After two alleged gunpoint robberies involving juvenile suspects last week, town police on Wednesday morning urged adults to monitor their children’s actions.

Smyrna Police Department investigated reported armed robberies on Dec. 29-30, with arrests of teenagers made in both. More youths still are being sought.

While armed robberies on consecutive days are not typical in Smyrna, police spokesman Cpl. Brian Donner said the incidents are worrisome nonetheless.

“Multiple gunpoint robberies in two days is certainly an aberration for us,” he said. “It is very concerning to us as an agency and we certainly hope that parents and guardians are paying attention to what their kids are doing, who they’re with and their access to weapons etc.”

There’s been no spike in teenage-related issues in the northern Kent County town, Cpl. Donner said.

Authorities don’t believe the two incidents are connected in any way but, “the investigation is still very active and ongoing and all leads are being pursued,” Cpl. Donner said.

On Dec. 29, a female told police she’d been robbed of a cellphone and money by several handgun-wielding suspects in the area of North Main Street and Providence Drive.

It occurred at approximately 7:26 p.m.

A 15-year-old Smyrna male was arrested within three hours and charged with first-degree robbery, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy, offensive touching and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, authorities said.

The suspect was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, given a $109,000 unsecured bond and released to the custody of his mother.

On Wednesday, Smyrna Police said investigation into the identities of three other suspects was ongoing, and all were believed to be male juveniles.

An allegedly stolen cellphone began ringing in a suspect’s pocket when police confronted the person in the Gateway North Shopping Center at 200 Stadium St., police said.

Authorities said the cellphone was found to be active in the area and a dispatcher called it with police in the vicinity of the suspects.

Four suspects in the second case, ranging from age 14 to 17 and all from Smyrna, were arrested after an alleged incident in the area of South Carter Road and Villanova Drive, police said. Personal belongings were taken from a male at approximately 2:50 p.m., according to authorities.

Charges included first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

The suspects were arraigned through Justice of the Peace Court 7, given secured bonds and initially taken to Stevenson House Detention Center in Dover, police said.

No weapons were recovered in either case, police said.

“In the first case, hours went by between the robbery and the arrest of a suspect,” Cpl. Donner said. “It should also be noted that the suspects in the first case were traveling in a vehicle which has not been recovered.”

Suspect names and booking photos were not released due to their juvenile status, police said.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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