Robbery suspect surrenders in standoff with police in Bear

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After a string of armed robberies in the Bear and Newark areas, the law finally caught up to Thomas Watson, 33, of Bear.

BEAR (DE): Police say they began investigating a series of armed robberies on December 30, 2017, that were occurring in the Bear/Newark/Glasgow vicinity, in which the suspect’s description and actions were similar with information provided by New Castle County Police detectives, regarding a similar robbery that they were actively investigating. Thomas Watson, 33, of Bear was developed as a suspect.

Police said, “On Thursday, January 25, 2018, at approximately 3:12 p.m., Troopers responded to an armed robbery that had just occurred at the 24/7 Food Mart, located at 2445 Pulaski Highway, Newark, in which a white male suspect approached the cashier, displayed a handgun and demanded money. Utilizing the intelligence information previously provided by the New Castle County Police, Watson was positively identified as the suspect in this incident. Detectives were also able to ascertain that Watson fled the scene in a blue Ford Taurus.”

According to police spokesman, Michael Austin, while assisting with the search for Watson, Delaware State Police Helicopter Trooper 4 located a blue Ford Taurus and was able to maintain visual contact with the vehicle, as it pulled in to the driveway of a residence in the unit block of Primrose Drive, in the development of Brennan Estates, Bear. Troopers responded to the residence and were able to confirm the presence of both Watson and the Ford.

Due to Watson being armed with a handgun, a perimeter was immediately set up, which contained Watson within the residence. As a precautionary measure adjacent residences were notified of the situation and subsequently evacuated.

It was then that the Delaware State Police Special Operations & Response Team (SORT) responded to the residence and were able to take Watson in to custody without incident. Also taken in to custody was Jeannie M. Yu, 36, of Wilmington, who was observed moving the suspect vehicle from the driveway to the side yard of the residence, in an attempt to conceal it.

Through various investigative measures, along with evidence collected during a search of the residence, Watson was able to be linked to the below listed robberies.

• Valero 4434 Summit Bridge Rd. (12/30/17)
• VIP Cleaners 2430 Pulaski Hwy. (01/09/18)
• 24/7 Food Mart 2445 Pulaski Hwy. (01/10/18)
• Salem Dry Cleaners 16 Salem Village Square (01/15/18)
• Tai Chi Spa 1231 Quintilio Dr. (01/16/18)
• 24/7 Food Mart 2445 Pulaski Hwy. (01/25/18)

Watson was transported to Delaware State Police Troop 2 where he was arrested and charged with 7 counts of Robbery 1st Degree. He was then arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #2, before being committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $140,000.00 cash bail., Austin said.

New Castle County Police also have warrants on file for Watson, charging him with the robbery of the 7-11, located at 60 Gerald Drive, Newark, which occurred on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Yu was arrested and charged with 1 count each of Conspiracy 2nd Degree and Tampering with Physical Evidence. She was also arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court #2, before being committed to the Dolores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in lieu of $2000.00 cash bail.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents are asked to contact the Troop 2 Robbery Unit at 302-365-8566. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1800 842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at debra.reed@state.de.us.

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