Man sought in connection with stealing car dealership safe, assaulting trooper

August 13, 2013

Delaware State Police are searching for a Milford man who they say assaulted a trooper after stealing a safe from a Milford car dealership.

Police went to Hertrich Nissan on South DuPont Highway north of Milford at 4:56 a.m. Aug. 11 after receiving a call about a burglar alarm, said Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.

The trooper, a 26-year-old woman, saw a dark green Honda Accord with registration 975383 trying to exit the dealership when she tried to get out of her car to contact the suspect, Fournier said.

Darrell R. Putnam, 26, drove directly at the trooper, struck the driver's side door and pinned her left foot in between the door and the frame, Fournier said.

Putnam continued to drive recklessly through the car dealership parking lot and struck two cars before fleeing the area, Fournier said.

Upon investigating the incident, Fournier said, police discovered Putnam had climbed through a car dealership window and removed a safe.

The safe, however, fell out of Putnam's car as he was fleeing the parking lot, Fournier said.

The trooper was taken to Kent General Hospital where she was treated for a fractured left foot.

Anyone with information on the incident or Putnam's whereabouts is asked to call Det. K. Anderson at 741-2815, 1-800-TIP-3333, or use the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at, go to, or send an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using keyword DSP.