Monday, November 24, 2008

Hamm Burglar Arrested

No word yet from New Castle County regarding burglaries in Christine Manor, but...

From NPD Press Release:

The Newark Police Department has charged five people in connection with numerous residential burglaries that began in August and continued until this month. During the investigations, it became apparent that a string of burglaries taking place in Newark were being committed by an organized group. In early October, the Newark Police Department initiated a recorded telephone message to city residents advising of the burglaries and reminding citizens to report any suspicious activity or vehicles in their neighborhoods.

Through investigation and evidence, it was learned that members of the Hamm family and their associates were unlawfully entering houses in the daytime and early evening hours, when residents were not at home. In some instances, they entered through unlocked doors or windows, in others entry was forced. Their primary targets of theft were cash, jewelry, and electronics, although other items were also stolen. The burglaries were not concentrated in a specific area, taking place throughout Newark and in neighboring areas of Maryland.

The defendants:
Kimberly Hamm July 12, 1985 (23 years old) 52 Vista Dr. Elkton, MD
Charged October 28 with Burglary 2nd Degree (2 counts), Conspiracy 2nd Degree (2 counts), Felony Theft, Conspiracy 3rd Degree, Misdemeanor Theft, Unlawful Use of Credit Card, and Criminal Mischief (2 counts). She was released on unsecured bail.

Rodney Hamm October 2, 1981 (27 years old) 371 Appleton Rd. Elkton MD
Charged November 3 with Burglary 2nd Degree (6 counts), Conspiracy 2nd Degree (5 counts), Felony Theft (4 counts), and Misdemeanor Theft (2 counts). He was committed to the Howard Young Correctional Facility in default of $41,500 bail.

Danielle Rau September 14, 1977 (31 years old) 371 Appleton Rd. Elkton MD
Charged November 3 with Burglary 2nd Degree (4 counts), Conspiracy 2nd Degree (3 counts), Felony Theft (3 counts), Misdemeanor Theft (2 counts), and Criminal Mischief (3 counts). She was committed to Baylor Women’s Correctional Facility in default $29,000 bail.

Roger Sheetz January 5, 1979 (29 years old) 2B Queen Circle, Newark
Charged November 6 with one count each of Burglary 2nd Degree, Conspiracy 2nd Degree, Theft, Conspiracy 3rd Degree, Unlawful Use of Credit Card, and Criminal Mischief. He was committed to Howard Young Correctional Facility in default of $6,000 bail, but has since been released after bail was posted.

Jennifer Hamm July 12, 1985 (23 years old) 52 Vista Dr. Elkton, RD
Arrested and held in Cecil County, MD on November 18. Awaiting her return to Delaware to be charged with the same offenses as her co-conspirators.

Jennifer Hamm and Kimberly Hamm are twin sisters. Rodney Hamm is the brother of Jennifer and Kimberly. Danielle Rau is the girlfriend of Rodney. Roger Sheetz is an associate of the twin sisters.

Locations of the burglaries in which the defendants have been charged include Patrick Henry Court, Country Club Drive, Vassar Drive, Pennwood Street, Saw Mill Drive, Wrangler Road, Wynwyd Drive, and Minquil Drive.

This investigation is ongoing, and it is anticipated that additional charges will be brought as other burglaries are connected to these defendants. The same defendants are under investigation by agencies in Maryland for burglaries occurring in Cecil and Harford counties.

Information related to this investigation can be reported to Det. D’Elia at 302-366-7110 ext 132 or or to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 where information can be left anonymously and a reward may be available.

A Gentle Holiday Reminder from Paul Pomeroy

Dear Friends,For the last several years I've had the opportunity to visit Downes Elementary (located in District One) as Principal for a Day. I look forward to it as it's a great opportunity for me to see all that Principal Schwartz and her incredible team of dedicated teachers and staff and doing to improve the lives of the children in our community.

During my visit this past month I was met not only by smiling children and educational success stories, but also with the harsh reality that many families in the Downes community are struggling like never before. We all know how the economy has hit each of our own lives, but there are others in our local community who are hurting even more.

Also during my visit, Principal Schwartz told me about their "Mitten Tree". On a tree in the hallway are cutout paper mittens with a list of items that needy Downes families are desperate for during the holiday season. What struck me was the fact that the list of items contained no gifts or luxuries, but instead only the staples--shoes, gloves, underwear and socks. Local members of the Downes family pick off a mitten, purchase the item and return it back to the school. During a follow-up trip last week I was heartened to see that already so many of the mittens had been plucked from the tree. Ours truly is a generous and caring community.I asked Principal Schwartz how I could help. She told me that not only are the families in need of the staples mentioned above, but they are also working hard to keep food on the table. In past years, some members of the community have generously donated gift cards from stores such as Acme that Downes adds to the package of clothing that they deliver to these local families.

I know this is a difficult time, and I'm sure many of you already have charities that you support with regularity. But if you are interested and able to join me in purchasing a gift card of two to support this effort, I would greatly appreciate it. Any denomination--$10, $15 or $25 would be a big help. You can email me back when you have the card and I will gladly pick it up at your home and deliver it to Downes. Or you can drop one off on your own at the main office. If you are a local business or organization looking for a cause to support, please consider this one.

Keep in mind that these are Newark families right here among us. They are children attending Downes Elementary who will be getting only the bare necessities during the holidays this year. Your support truly will stay local. The deadline is the end of the first week of December. Thank you for considering this.I wish you and yours all the best of luck and happiness as we enter the holiday season.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Community Watch Training by NPD

Thursday night’s meeting was very interesting. Cpl. Gerry Bryda of the Newark Police Department (NPD) gave us an introductory talk on Community Watch programs. Cpl. Bryda just returned from national training on community policing and he had some interesting things to say. The first thing he said was that the police departments now DO NOT RECOMMEND HAVING A RESIDENT PATROL. The reason they have adopted this recommendation is due the liability it can incur. His main point was the liability for the person doing the patrol and the possibility of them having an accident, etc. He also expressed concern about those doing patrol “becoming a target” of anyone looking to do illegal things.

Instead of doing a patrol they recommend having a Neighborhood Watch with neighbors actively being the “eyes and ears” of the neighborhood – from their house, while they walk, and as they come and go from the neighborhood. The NPD is willing to help us institute a Watch Program and give us training on how to best utilize this program. The basic premise is we would identify “block captains” who are responsible for receiving/distributing information of interest/concern regarding the neighborhood. We would have to decide on the breakdown of “blocks” if we choose to go this route.

A few other points he made were:
  • keep doors and windows locked
  • mark your property and keep a list of serial numbers
  • leave outdoor lights on overnight and turn off during the day (timers are best).

NPD will have Neighborhood Watch signs available in January for us (to purchase or free I don’t know yet). Another thing of interest is the NPD offers a home security survey service to Newark residents. While they cannot do this for all residents of Christine Manor (as most of us are not in the city) he can give a talk on how we can do it for ourselves. I have asked him to do this in January and will be sending out an email/notice when I have received a confirmation.

Please start thinking about how you personally feel about the community patrol and the neighborhood watch ideas. I am also considering doing a webpage something like West Branch’s (which you can see at ). Please feel free to send me your comments and suggestions. I will be in touch regarding a January meeting to discuss how we’d like to move forward with the community watch program. As for now I think we should continue with the patrol, until we can agree as a group what we feel is best. Given the holidays, unless I hear otherwise, I will assume that January is the best time to meet to have this discussion.

Thank you to those who attended the meeting and who have signed up for the 2009 patrol. I think we are starting what is really needed to protect ourselves and our property – a real sense of community.

Rachael Coffey