NEWARK — State Rep. Gerald Brady has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of shoplifting in connection to two incidents at a Newark Acme, police said.
Rep. Brady, a Wilmington Democrat who announced last week that he is resigning from his seat, turned himself in to Newark police Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance, Lt. Andrew Rubin, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department, said in prepared statement.
On Jan. 12 at 5:20 p.m., Newark police received a report of a shoplifting that occurred about 15 minutes prior at the Acme store at 100 Suburban Drive, Lt. Rubin said.
An Acme loss-prevention employee reported that an employee observed a man — later identified as Rep. Brady — enter the store. The worker recognized him from an alleged prior shoplifting that had not yet been reported to police, Lt. Rubin said.
The employee determined which vehicle Rep. Brady had parked and obtained its license plate number. He then observed Rep. Brady push a shopping cart full of merchandise past the registers and toward the exit of the store, Lt. Rubin said.
The employee confronted Rep. Brady about his failure to pay for the merchandise, Lt. Rubin said. He then allegedly declined to pay for the items, left the store and entered the same vehicle for which the employee had recorded the license plate number, police added. The value of the products involved was under $200.
The employee reported to Newark police that, on Dec. 29, 2021, Rep. Brady was allegedly observed on video entering the store and similarly removing merchandise without paying for it, Lt. Rubin said. The value of the items was under $200 during that incident, as well.
According to police, the Acme worker was able to research the owner of the vehicle as the license plate was a Delaware state representative plate containing initials of the owner. Lt. Rubin said the employee viewed a photo of the representative and confirmed that the vehicle owner and the suspect in these incidents were the same person — Rep. Brady.
On Tuesday, a warrant was issued for Rep. Brady’s arrest for two counts of shoplifting.
Victor Battaglia Jr., an attorney representing Rep. Brady, said it would be “premature” to comment on his arrest.
“We would just ask that people and the media not jump to any conclusions,” Mr. Battaglia said, adding that Rep. Brady is scheduled for arraignment some time in March.
On Friday, Rep. Brady announced his resignation, citing health issues including PTSD as a result of his deployments to the Middle East with the Delaware National Guard. and hearing loss. It will take effect Feb. 4.
“The grim reality of (my) condition for those of us who live with it is long periods of silent suffering, which can be punctuated by episodes or conduct that may make little sense to people who do not understand the nature of PTSD,” Rep. Brady said in a statement. “The challenges that returning veterans face can create situational stresses, which have a cumulative effect and take a great toll on an individual. Personal and professional challenges or other traumatic events can exacerbate PTSD.”
The resignation came on the heels of controversy: After legislators determined that he used racist and sexist terms to discuss human trafficking in a June 27, 2021, email, Rep. Brady said he would not seek reelection last summer.
Drew Volturo, a spokesman for the House Democrats, declined to comment on Rep. Brady’s arrest. He instead pointed to a statement Friday in which House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, described Rep. Brady as “a kind and empathetic representative.”
“Our first and foremost thoughts are that Gerald gets the help he needs,” Rep. Schwartzkopf said at the time.