Three separate incidents in the past week have prompted police to caution residents walking alone at night, particularly along the Route 1 corridor.
The most serious of the three was an attempted abduction 1:35 a.m. Aug. 23 when a 20-year-old Rehoboth Beach woman was walking her bike along Muddy Branch Road, she told police. A man drove alongside of her and forced her into his vehicle, police said. As the car reached the intersection with Route 1, police said, the woman was able to escape. She ran to a nearby business where bystanders contacted police.
“Detectives are continuing to work diligently on this case by talking with the victim and any witnesses that were in the area when she fled the vehicle,” said Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.
The only description of the man provided by police was that he is black; there is no further physical description of the man or the vehicle, Fournier said.
Three days before the attempted abduction, police said, a bicyclist was robbed at 12:50 a.m. Aug. 20 as he rode behind the WSFS Bank at 19335 Coastal Highway. A man who police described only as black, pushed the bicyclist off his bike before pulling out a small knife and demanding money. The bicyclist complied, and the suspect fled, police said.
Fournier said at this time have found no connection between the abduction and robbery.
Police also are investigating an alleged assault that occurred 11:10 p.m. Aug. 16 as a couple walked along Hebron Road. Police said the couple was attacked from behind by a couple of men; the woman received minor injuries, police said.
Police continue investigating all incidents and ask anyone with information to call Troop 4 at 856-5850, 1-800-TIP-3333, use the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at http://www.delaware.gov/apps/, go to www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword DSP.
Police offer the following advice to people out at night:
- Pedestrians and bicyclists should travel in pairs at night
- Be alert of surroundings, and try to stay in well-lit areas
- If followed, call someone or run to an area where there are people congregating
- If walking alone, let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to get to your destination