The first incident occurred early Tuesday morning at Highway Inn Liquors, located at 3806 Governor Printz Boulevard in Wilmington.
Police were called to the store at approximately 3:30 a.m. after a burglary alarm went off. When they arrived they found 40-year-old Jerel S. Hackett of Wilmington walking away from the area. Police say Hackett was in possession of several tools and a pair of gloves. Video surveillance later revealed him peering into the windows of the store and checking the door handles.
Hackett was arrested and charged with one count each of Possession of Burglar Tools and Loitering. He was arraigned and released on $2001.00 unsecured bail.
Then at approximately 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, police were called out to the Delmarva Claymont Substation, located at 4001 Philadelphia Pike in Claymont, after employees there reported seeing suspicious people at the site.
When responding troopers arrived, they discovered two men at the site. Both suspects fled on foot but were apprehended after a brief foot chase.
The men were identified as Brian S. Wright, 33, of Newark, and the very same Jerel Hackett who was arrested early Tuesday morning for the liquor store incident.
Both suspects were found with stolen copper ground wire that had been removed from the Claymont substation.
Investigators were later able to link both Hackett and Wright to numerous thefts of copper wire from Delmarva Power Substations, totaling a staggering $400,000 in damage.
Both suspects were arrested and charged with six counts each of Possession of Burglar Tools, Criminal Mischief, Conspiracy 2nd degree, Theft, and Criminal Trespass 2nd degree. They were both committed to the Howard Young Prison after they were unable to pay $87,000 secured bond each.