Three Dover men who attempted to hold up the clerk at a local convenience store were caught shortly after the holdup when their car crashed during a police chase.
The men did not know it at the time, but their activities had been spotted by a passing Delaware State Police trooper who called for backup, said police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier.
The incident took place at 2:55 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Shore Stop store at 8953 S. DuPont Highway, Felton, near Canterbury.
The trooper had spotted two men acting suspiciously near the store, Fournier said, and as he continued to watch, the men entered the store wearing masks. After calling for additional troopers, the officer drove into the parking lot just after the suspects had left the store and fled toward Irish Hill Road, where a waiting car was parked.
The trooper, along with additional police forces attempted to stop with vehicle but it continued onto Canterbury Road at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control near the intersection of Canterbury and Midstate roads, causing the vehicle to overturn with all three occupants inside.
The men were taken into custody without further incident, Fournier said.
A later investigation identified the two masked men as Dean Smith, 39, and James B. Hill, 26, who were dropped off by Daekwon R. Tilghman, 17, Fournier said. Wearing masks and armed with handguns, Smith and Hill allegedly went into the store, where they demanded cash from the 20-year-old clerk. The woman turned over an undisclosed amount of cash before the men fled and were picked up by Tilghman.
Smith and Hill each were charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony and second-degree conspiracy.
They were jailed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, in default of a $45,000 secured bond.
Tilghman was taken to a local hospital and admitted with non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the crash.
He was charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy, disregarding a police officer's signal, reckless driving, driving without a valid license and a number of traffic-related offenses.
He was arraigned by a Family Court judge and placed in the custody of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families on $100,000.00 cash bond until he can be released to a juvenile detention facility.
The convenience store clerk was not injured in this incident, Fournier said.