Clayton man caught by a resident after one of the burglaries just north of Smyrna

A Clayton man has been charged with burglaries at several homes near Smyrna last week after he was caught by a resident after one of the burglaries.

On Thursday, Dec. 12 at about 6:05 a.m., Delaware State Police responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a home in the 1000 block of Massey Church Road just north of Smyrna. 

When troopers arrived on scene they discovered the resident was detaining the suspect.

The property owner told troopers that when he entered his vehicle to go to work he discovered it had been ransacked and that items were missing. He also noticed that his detached garage had been entered and that items were missing from the garage.

After going in his home to call 911, the resident heard his dogs barking in the back yard. When he went outside to check on them, he saw the suspect wearing dark clothing and a ski mask, carrying a large bag.

After a brief struggle, the suspect was detained by the resident.

The bag contained stolen power tools and other items.

The investigation determined that Vincent M. Zimath, 26, of Clayton, had stolen items  from garages, pole barns, pool houses and vehicles at five residences along a two-block stretch of Massey Church Road.

Items taken included power tools, hand tools and electronics.

Zimath was charged with 12 counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of theft greater than $1,500, four counts of theft less than $1,500, three counts of attempted theft less than $1,500 and two counts of third-degree criminal trespassing, police said.

He was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 2 and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $43,500 secured bail while awaiting another court appearance.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident or other burglaries in the area to call Detective Conway of the Troop 2 Burglary Unit, 302-365-8427, or contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or