Man sought after stealing cologne, leading police on chase

July 5, 2022

A man is sought after police say he stole cologne from a Rehoboth Beach outlet store July 4, then led police on a chase to Bethany Beach.

A man entered the Fragrance Hut, 35016 Midway Outlet Drive, at 2:40 p.m. and picked up several bottles of cologne, said Sr. Cpl. Leonard DeMalto of the Delaware State Police. The man tried to leave the store without paying when a store employee approached him. The man then took out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the employee before fleeing the store, DeMalto said. The man was last seen leaving the outlets in a blue Kia Optima traveling southbound on Route 1.

Troopers responding to the scene saw the Kia going southbound on Route 1 toward Bethany Beach. Officers from the Bethany Beach Police Department tried to stop the Kia, but the driver kept going, and after a brief pursuit, DeMalto said, police discontinued due to traffic conditions. Officers established a perimeter in the Bethany Beach area in order to locate the Kia Optima, but were unsuccessful. No one was injured in this incident, and the suspect remains at large.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 6 feet tall, with a thin build. There are no surveillance images available at this time.

Delaware State Police Troop 7 is currently investigating the incident; they ask anyone with information regarding this case to contact Trooper First Class T. Bennett at 302-703-3305. Information may also be provided by sending a private Facebook message to the Delaware State Police, or by contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or

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