Delaware State Police say an armed robbery suspect is in custody today after he was detained by several of his victims.
It turns out the suspect, 19-year-old Nigel Sykes, has been linked to a string of robberies in the Wilmington and Claymont areas over the past two months.
The latest incident happened Tuesday night at the Season’s Pizza restaurant on Maryland Avenue in Wilmington. Police say Sykes, armed with a handgun, attempted to rob the restaurant but was detained after struggling with several employees.
During the struggle, the handgun went off, but nobody was struck.
Authorities have linked Sykes to eight robberies dating back to September 30, including a bank, two convenience stores and five restaurants.
“We’ve been actively looking for him for quite a while,” said state police spokesman Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale. “Thank God last night we were able to get him with the help of the store employees. We don’t want them to put themselves in danger by any means, but I guess they were tired of being victims so they took action.”
Three restaurant employees suffered minor injuries during the struggle but were treated and released from Christiana Hospital.
“Thank God nobody was seriously injured,” Hale said.
It worked out Tuesday night, but Hale wants to be clear he does not recommend victims take the law into their own hands.
“Give up the property, give the person whatever they want,” he said. “A life is not worth money or personal property.”
Instead, Hale says victims should just try to be the best witnesses they can be.
“Get a good description of the person, see whether they flee on foot or vehicle, which direction they travel in,” he said.
Sykes has been charged with 11 counts of first-degree robbery and nine counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.