The Delaware State Police have arrested a Lincoln man in connection with numerous burglaries to homes under construction throughout Sussex County.
The investigation began on June 29, 2012 around 4:11 a.m., when troopers responded to a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a residence under construction on Park Pavilion Way in the development of The Ridings at Rehoboth, Lewes. A Ford Focus was left idling in the middle of the roadway with its license plate covered with masking tape and no one around. Troopers, with the assistance of the State Police helicopter and a K9, began searching the area for the operator, but were unable to locate anyone. Prior to the vehicle being towed from the scene, troopers located copper wire and aluminum inside the car, which is commonly sold for cash at local scrap metal businesses, along with an identification card and prescription drug bottle.
Detectives were able to respond to the address of where the vehicle was registered and gather information into the last known operator of the car. At approximately 11:00 a.m. on June 29th, Frank R. Fleming was taken into custody by troopers after he was seen walking in the area of Church Street in Milford. At the time of his apprehension, Fleming gave a false name in order to avoid arrest.
Through investigative measures, Fleming was linked to more than 38 burglaries throughout central and eastern Sussex County. In most cases, Fleming would enter the unsecured residences that were under construction and use a cutting tool in order to remove copper wiring from air conditioner units. He would then take the wiring and aluminum articles to a local scrap yard in order to receive cash for the items. Some of the developments in which the crimes occurred were: The Meadows at Beaver Creek, Harbeson; Heron Bay, Lewes; The Ridings at Rehoboth, Lewes; Woods Cove, Lewes; The Reserves at Pilot Town, Lewes; Vincent Overlook, Lewes; Blueberry Hill, Lincoln; Logan’s Run, Lincoln; Crescent Shores, Lincoln; Shoreview Woods Villas, Milton; Stonewater Creek, Milton; Holland Mills, Milton; and Independence, Millsboro.
Fleming was arrested and formally charged with a total of 129 counts of various burglaries and thefts. He was arraigned at JP3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $42,700.00 secured bail.