Arrest Made In Schellenger Eagle Memorial Statue Theft

Arrest Made In Schellenger Eagle Memorial Statue Theft

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

Delaware –-( A four- year, ongoing investigation into the theft of a bronze statue memorializing DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife conservationist Harry Schellenger, who drowned in 2003 while inspecting duck blinds at the Assawoman Wildlife Area, has resulted in the arrest of a Frankford man.

Fish & Wildlife Enforcement followed up on countless leads and tips since the eagle statue, paid for by Mr. Schellenger’s family, co-workers and friends, was stolen from the Mulberry Landing area of the wildlife refuge where Mr. Schellenger, then 53, drowned while attempting to retrieve a boat that had drifted out into the water.

After a suspect surfaced in the theft through a tip in 2010, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement obtained a warrant for the arrest of Douglas R. Powell, 27. Delaware State Police stopped and held Mr. Powell until Fish & Wildlife Enforcement took him into custody. He was arraigned on one charge of felony theft and an additional charge of criminal mischief for allegedly spray painting graffiti on the statue’s base, as well as the restroom facilities in the wildlife management area.

Mr. Powell pled not guilty at his arraignment and was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution after failing to post the $750 bail imposed by the court.

Fish & Wildlife Enforcement continues its efforts to recover the eagle statue, which was dedicated in 2007 by then Governor Ruth Ann Minner; anyone with information on its whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-292-3030.

Mr. Schellenger, with his white hair and beard a well-known figure on the Delaware Bay to both watermen and river pilots, had asked that his ashes be spread at the mouth of the Bay he treasured. The eagle memorial erected at the wildlife management area “was the special place (his) family came to commune with Harry, much the same as many would visit the graveside of a loved one,” his brother-in-law, Jack Henriksen, said at the time of the theft of the statue. A $2,000 reward was offered for its recovery.

In other noteworthy enforcement cases:

  • A Bridgeville man, Victor J. Maggioli, 53, was charged with boating violations after he was spotted and stopped by enforcement officers for speeding through a no-wake zone on the Assawoman Canal. During inspection, F&W agents determined that Mr. Maggioli’s boat had not been registered since 2007. He was charged with operating an unregistered motor vessel and one count of excessive speed.
  • A Swarthmore, Pa., man, Edward G. Loughead, 44, was cited with a voluntary assessment for two counts of a child under age 12 not wearing a personal flotation device. F&W enforcement agents patrolling the C&D Canal observed two recreational vessels rafted together and drifting on the canal. The agents then saw the operator of one of the boats hurriedly putting life jackets on two small children. After boarding the vessel, they determined that Mr. Loughead had put adult-sized PFDs on the children. He was told to outfit them with proper-fitting life jackets, then given the fine.
  • Two Laurel men, Jesse E. Steen, 28, and Edward M. Steen, 51, were found with loaded weapons in their vehicles after Fish & Wildlife enforcement agents responded to reports of gunshots off Trap Pond Road and of lights seen after dark in a field where deer were grazing earlier in the evening. A Fish & Wildlife agent used a 4-wheel-drive patrol car to gain access to field, at which time he apprehended both men after spotting firearms in their two vehicles. The weapons were secured and collected as evidence. Another Fish & Wildlife agent and additional Delaware State Police officers were called to the scene when the suspects became unruly. Both Edward and Jesse Steen were issued a voluntary assessment for one count of possession of a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle, after which they appeared in Justice of the Peace Court #3 in Georgetown and were fined $50 and associated costs after pleading guilty at their arraignment.