Traffic stop leads to arrest for theft of stolen construction materials

MILLSBORO — A traffic stop of a Smyrna man led to the discovery of stolen items from construction sites in the Millsboro and Lewes areas, authorities said. 

Michael Irwin, 45, of Smyrna, was arrested Wednesday after troopers conducted a traffic stop at approximately 11:20 p.m, said Senior Cpl. Heather Pepper, a spokesperson for the Delaware State Police. 

Since the end of April 2020, troopers have been investigating reports of thefts from construction sites in developments under construction in the Millsboro and Lewes area, she said. 

Michael Irwin

While troopers were on patrol in the area of Tributary Boulevard in Millsboro, a black Ford Ranger that was pulling a trailer had no lights on, Cpl. Pepper said. The troopers pulled the vehicle over and the driver was identified as Mr. Irwin, Cpl. Pepper said.

During the traffic stop, troopers determined Irwin was driving under the influence of alcohol, Cpl. Pepper said. He was taken into custody.

Cpl. Pepper said that in the bed of the trailer, construction packaging was in clear view. It was consistent with materials that have been reported stolen, she said. Through an investigation it was determined the property was stolen, she said.

Mr. Irwin was transported to Troop 4 where he was processed and charged with the following crimes: third offense DUI, a felony; improper lights; driving while suspended; failure to have insurance in possession; failure to have registration in possession; theft over $1500; theft under $1500; two counts of third-degree trespass; failure to obey an emergency order.

He was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Court and was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $2,503.00.