When the Station Street CoGo’s was robbed last month by a man wielding a large knife, the store’s security cameras recorded the entire incident.
But even though the robber didn’t wear a mask, his facial features weren’t very discernible on the video.
For Bridgeville police, the better visual clue was the clothing that the robber wore, police chief Chad King told council last week.
“A few officers look at the video and said, ‘It could be so-and-so,'” King said.
Within hours, the police had a short list of suspects that was soon narrowed down to one person. The next day, police executed a search warrant of the suspect’s residence. An arrest warrant soon followed.
“It was good policework and was an example of the officers knowing the community and the individuals in this town,” King said.
The suspect, Craig Dell, 41, of Bridgeville, had fled to Florida, but when he heard that his face was basically all over Bridgeville, he turned himself in to Fort Lauderdale police and offered a confession.
“I wanted to see the beach before I went to jail,” he told police.
In August, the Bridgeville police department’s Facebook followers helped them solve another crime allegedly involving Dell — the theft of a case of beer from a local business.
“[The CoGo’s robbery] wasn’t his first brush with the law,” said King, “but, hopefully, maybe it will be his last.”
Mayor Pasquale DeBlasio commended the department for the quick resolution of the CoGo’s robbery.
“Their efforts were simply good policework,” DeBlasio said, “which I’ve found is a lot more work than you might think.”