Delaware State Police: 4 charged in multi-state scheme to lure drivers from cars by rear-ending them

Delaware State Police have arrested four men involved in a crime spree across the state and Pennsylvania in a scheme to lure drivers from their vehicles. 

According to authorities, on April 14, around 6:30 a.m., troopers responded to Marsh Road and Naamans Road for a suspicious vehicle. The report came from a 911 call where a driver said she was being "brake-checked' by a black Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

Police say the Jeep stopped in front of the driver, causing them to stop. The Jeep's front passenger got out and ran into the woods, police say. 

Minutes later, dispatchers say they received another 911 call for a collision on Thompson Bridge Road and Guyencourt Road.

Police say during this incident a driver was rear-ended by the Jeep. The suspect driving the Jeep got out of the vehicle, approached the victim to look at her and then returned to the car to flee the scene. That victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to state police. 

Shortly after 7 a.m., another 911 call came in for a suspicious vehicle in the area of Kennett Pike and Twadell Mill, where a 911 caller reported a black Jeep Grand Cherokee was tailgating her, officials say. The Jeep eventually fled the area. 

At 7:10 a.m., Delaware and Pennsylvania State Police responded to a motor vehicle collision in the area of Creek Road at the Pennsylvania state line. Law enforcement authorities say an investigation revealed a woman was rear-ended by a black Jeep Grand Cherokee before driving a short distance into Delaware, where she pulled into a private driveway on Montchanin Road. 

The Jeep also pulled over and a suspect got out, approached the victim and held her at gunpoint, forcing her to get in the front passenger seat of her car, where she was told to take off her clothes and was sexually assaulted, per police. 

After sexually assaulting the victim, one of the suspects drove her to Chadds Ford Township in Pennsylvania and left her on the side of the road before fleeing in her vehicle, state police say. 

Shortly after, a Wilmington Police Officer saw the Jeep parked next to to a maroon-colored Nissan Pathfinder at the Royal Farms on South Market Street in Wilmington, where police say the suspects appeared to be changing vehicles. 

The officer tried to stop the Jeep, but the car fled into nearby Pennsylvania and got lost in a pursuit, officials say. 

Just before 9:30 a.m., a Delaware State trooper responded to the area of I-95 and Marsh Road for a hit-and-run involving the Nissan Pathfinder. A 911 caller told authorities that a passenger in the vehicle pointed a gun at her and fled the scene, police say. The caller gave police the car's license plate information and investigators say they learned the car was reported stolen out of Elkton during the first week of April. 

State police then saw the Nissan traveling into Delaware from Pennsylvania and began pursuing it on I-95. 

The suspect driving the vehicle lost control, causing it to crash and become disabled on the off-ramp of the Concord Pike, police say. 

The driver, later identified as 21-year-old David Hinson of Bear, Delaware, and the passenger, 21-year-old Michael Caldwell of Wilmington, Delaware, were arrested after the pursuit, according to troopers. 

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Michael Caldwell, 21, of Wilmington, Delaware (Delaware State Police)

Law enforcement continued investigating, which led them to 19-year-old Mahkiya Powell of Wilmington, Delaware and 24-year-old Tonnaire McNair-Matthrews of Wilmington, Delaware. 

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Tonnaire McNair-Matthews, 24, of Wilmington, Delaware (Delaware State Police)

Powell was taken into custody by Delaware State Police, while McNair-Matthews was apprehended by the FBI, US Marshals and Maryland State Police. 

According to Delaware State Police, the suspects face various charges

  • Hinson has been charged with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest with force, leaving the scene of a collision and related charges
  • Caldwell has been charged with aggravated menacing, possession of a firearm and resisting arrest
  • Powell has been charged with tampering with physical evidence, conspiracy and theft
  • McNair-Matthews has been charged with rape, kidnappings robbery, possession a firearm and related offenses