Officers with the Harrington Police Department Wednesday afternoon arrested a man suspected of having committed a Dover bank robbery earlier in the day.
The arrest came less than four hours after the armed holdup took place.
The incident began at 9:24 a.m. Feb 5, when the suspect, now identified as Ronald Rogers, 59, came into the First National Bank of Wyoming on South Governors Avenue, Dover, said Dover Police Department spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman.
According to information provided by Justice of the Peace Court 7, the robber poured gasoline on the carpet and jumped the counter, ordering the tellers to lie on the floor. The man then took an undisclosed amount of money from the tellers' cash drawers – along with several red dye packs – and fled in a dark green Cadillac Seville.
A surveillance photo of the car was quickly distributed through the Dover Police website and social media.
A tip came in at approximately 12:50 p.m., indicating the vehicle was on Carpenter Bridge Road, near Harrington; officers from Harrington spotted the car turning onto U.S. Route 13 and stopped the vehicle, taking the driver, later identified as Rogers, into custody.
Harrington officers noticed a white bag containing a large amount of money on the floorboard as well as red dye on Rogers' hands. When examined, the cash also was stained with the red dye.
Following his arrest, Rogers also was developed as a suspect in the Jan. 25 robbery of a Walgreens pharmacy at 1215 S. State St., in Dover. In that instance, the suspect put a handgun to the back of a clerk's head during the robbery.
Rogers, whose home was given as in the 100 block of Mallory Court, Felton, faces counts stemming from both the Jan. 25 and Feb. 5 incidents, to include seven charges of first-degree robbery, two counts each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, and single counts each of aggravated menacing, criminal mischief and possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited.
He was ordered jailed in default of a $238,000 secured bond.
Lt. Earl K. Brode of the Harrington Police Department credited good cooperation between police and the community as a factor in Rogers' capture.
"Apparently someone spotted the vehicle and contacted the 911 center to say they were following it," Brode said. "The dispatch center contacted our road officers, who stopped him and took him into custody."
The incident shows how teamwork can help solve crimes, Brode said.
"It's good when you have people willing to help like this," he said. "They'll see the news and then they see the vehicle and call it in. It's always good to have this kind of help from the community."
Page 2 of 2 - "I'll echo those sentiments," Hoffman said. "I think it speaks volumes for the success of our new website and our ability to get information out to the public and to the media."
Dover Police had the surveillance photo of the suspect car on their website within 30 minutes, and the photo had more than 10,000 hits by the time Rogers was apprehended, he said.
"One of the people who saw that photo just happened to cross paths with the vehicle and called it in," Hoffman said.
Harrington officers did an excellent job in capturing Rogers, Hoffman added.
"Their officers are going home safe, and the victims of this crime don't have to worry about [Rogers] any more," he said.