State Police set up checkpoint after out of staters flock to Total Wine, Home Depot in Claymont

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No tickets issued as motorists get heads up on  stay at home order

Delaware State Police have offered details on a checkpoint Friday morning at the site of Total Wine and More,  and Home Depot in Claymont.

Delaware State Police conducted the northern Delaware checkpoint at Naamans Road and Society Drive, in the area of Northtown Plaza.  

The checkpoint was made after Gov. John  Carney’s order restricting out of state travelers entering Delaware as the state deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Stores in the shopping center have long been a drawing card for Pennsylvania residents, due to the lack of a sales tax on home improvement items and liquor prices below those in neighboring Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania earlier closed its state-owned liquor stores, leading to an even greater influx of  Pennsylvania shoppers.

The Total Wine store in Northtown Plaza is believed to be the largest of the company’s 200-plus stores around the nation. 

On Thursday night, troopers conducted patrols on non-interstate roadways in the Claymont area after reports of a large number of vehicles with out-of-state plates. 

The governor’s order authorizes any Delaware law enforcement officer to stop a vehicle driving within the state with an out-of-state tag. The authorization does not apply to vehicles traveling on I-95, I-295, or I-495.

The order calls for visitors to the state to remain in quarantine for 14 days. 

As vehicles passed through the checkpoint, which ran from approximately 10  a.m. until 12:30 p.m., those with out of state tags were stopped with the driver asked limited questions related to their recent travel and purpose for entering Delaware.

The driver was then informed of the governor’s declaration and advised that if they are coming into Delaware from out-of-state, they are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days or immediately return to their home state.

Delaware State Police Troop 1 Commander, Captain John Laird, who oversaw the operation,  said interactions that with troopers from people with both the Delawareans who passed through the check-point, as well as the out of state drivers were productive and non-confrontational.

Troopers told motorists that the primary purpose of the stop was to inform and educate and no citations were issued or arrests made during the operation, which saw approximately 500 vehicles proceed through the checkpoint.

Directed patrols throughout the state will continue, troopers stated.

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