On December 17, 2019, at about 2018 hours, Newark Police responded to the former Rodney Dorm site on Hillside Road for a report of a burglary in progress. A witness reported observing two males within the fenced site removing copper.
Responding officers located a pick-up truck parked on a walking path along the property. The truck was found to be loaded with more than $2,000 worth of scrap copper. Newark PD officers, with the assistance of a New Castle County PD K-9 unit and officers from the University of Delaware PD, searched the property and were unable to locate the suspects. The vehicle and copper were seized by Newark PD at that time. Officers located documents identifying two possible suspects within the vehicle.
Shortly after the initial report, the Newark PD 911 center received a report of a domestic dispute involving a handgun that was occurring in a vehicle. Officers attempted to locate the source of the call and attempted to call the phone back and were unsuccessful. Records from the cell phone provider revealed that the owner of the phone was the same as the name on one of the identifying documents in the seized pick-up truck from the burglary.
Further investigation revealed that the 911 call reporting the domestic incident was actually a false report in an attempt to get the police away from the burglary scene.
On December 18, 2019, warrants were obtained charging William Byrd, 32, of New Castle and Rodnie Allen, 32, of Norristown, PA with their involvement in this incident. Later that day, both suspects came to Newark PD in an attempt to retrieve the vehicle involved in this incident. Both were arrested at that time without incident.
They were each charged with:
In addition, Byrd was charged with Falsely Reporting an Incident and Malicious Interference With Emergency Communications for making the false 911 call.
Both defendants appeared before Justice of the Peace Court #2 and were released on their own recognizance.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Cpl. A. Golden at (302) 366-7100 x. 3484 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional methods for providing information to Newark Police can be found on our tips page, where reward information may also be available.