Delaware State Police have arrested two men, including a Harrington resident, in connection with a number of burglaries and metal thefts that took place from May to July.


Delaware State Police have arrested two men, including a Harrington resident, in connection with a number of burglaries and metal thefts that took place from May to July.

Police got a break Sept. 8 while investigating a case in Sussex County, said spokesman Master Cpl. Bruce W. Harris. Detectives working on Rifle Range Road near Bridgeville spotted smoke coming from the rear of a home and found a burn pit and trash bags filled with plastic covering from copper wiring.

Harris said the detectives noted “distinctive markings” placed on the plastic coverings by the owners.

The same day, police investigating the theft of copper wiring from a home under construction on Seashore Highway discovered those same markings were on the wire taken in that case.

Detectives arrested Kevin E. Sheets, 34, of Rifle Range Road at the scene, and he was taken to Troop 4 in Georgetown and charged. Further investigation linked Sheets with Michael W. Fitzgerald, 29, of Harrington, Harris said.

Additional investigations resulted in 46 additional charges Sept. 14 and Sept. 15, stemming from 14 different incidents around Bridgeville, Greenwood, Georgetown, Lincoln and Ellendale.

Those crimes included the theft of various types of scrap metal, to include copper wire, tin, steel and piping, Harris said.

Each man was charged with four counts of third-degree burglary, 11 counts of second-degree conspiracy, nine counts of theft under $1,500, four counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of criminal mischief under $1,000, six counts of third-degree criminal trespass, six counts of theft of $1,500 or greater and three counts of third-degree conspiracy.

Sheets was jailed at the Sussex Correctional Institute, Georgetown, in default of a $21,500 secured bond. Fitzgerald also is being held at SCI in lieu of a $53,500 secured bond.