As stores across the State ready themselves to deal with a financial blow following the Governor’s order to close all non-essential businesses, Puffster, a vaping and smoking accessory shop in Downtown Dover, was vandalized and robbed early Monday morning.
Sam Chick, a veteran and owner of the establishment, lives directly above the store and woke up to a loud noise and knew something wasn’t right.
“I grabbed my phone, grabbed my shotgun, and ran downstairs and out on the sidewalk, and I see the dude booking it around the corner,” Chick said. “I chased him down and stopped him, and he kept going. I had the police on the line the whole time.”
Police, with the help of Chick, were able to apprehend the suspect who they discovered stole a couple pipes, a hooded sweatshirt, and a few scented wax melts.
Chick said he’s not sure how much it will cost him to replace the window that was smashed by a brick that the suspect threw to gain entry to the establishment.
When asked if he feels the current climate surrounding coronavirus and the resulting State of Emergency is emboldening criminals in this time of crisis, Chick said it certainly appears that way.
“I hate to say that, but I think so,” Chick said. “I think that the Governor shutting everything down makes opportunity for people and this is the kind of ridiculous stuff that’s going to happen.”
The suspect was identified as 38-year-old Jeffrey Hayman, of Millsboro, who was charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, Theft Under $1,500, and Criminal Mischief over $1,500. He was released on a $3,000 unsecured bond.