For months the "Candy Man" -- wanted for more than 40 robberies -- teased the District police as he slipped in and out of downtown stores.

But he didn't figure on Detectives Eddie J. Dailey, 37; Vincent P. Tolson 36, and Joel E. Davis, 35. they placed silent alarms in stores thought would be Candy Man's targets and, with assistance from other police units, caught him with his hand in the till.

Candy Man is now serving a minimum of 20 years in prison.

Dailey, of Suitland, Md.; Tolson, of Hyattsville, Md., and Davis, who lives in the District, were among 16 officers and investigators from the District police department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, FBI and U.S. Park Police honored by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office here last week.

"These are the people we work with every day," said U.S. Attorney Charles F. C. Ruff. "Without them, we could not accomplish our daily tasks."

At the awards ceremony, other persons honored were:

Detective Otis Fickling Jr., 41, of Marlowe Heights, Md., for his special ability to deal with witnesses. This talent was particularly important in the investigation of the shooting murder of Carl Lane, the owner of the York Haberdasher on Georgia Avenue NW, according to principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Ogren, who helped present the awards.

FBI Special Agents Joseph F. Cottis, 35, and Warren M. Linscott, 35, who work out of the D.C. field office, for investigations into corruption in the General Services Administration.

Sgt. Reginald L. Smith, 32, of Oxon Hill, Md., who was with the District police consumer fraud section, combed through thousands of documents putting together a case against a meat market's "bait-and-switch" scheme.

Officers Larry W. Farr, 40, of Waldorf, Md., and George P. Johnson, the prostitution unit of the 3rd D.C. police district, where they helped put together the "Bawdy House Cases."

William E. Corboy, 25, of the District, a patrol officer with the D.C. police department, for the quality and quantity of the criminal cases he works on.

U.S. Park Police Detective Alton B. Jones Jr., 39, of Bowie, Md., who kept track of a series of assaults and rapes on the Smithsonian Mall. The case ended with a conviction.

Irs Agent John R. Price, 55, of Alexandria, Va., who concentrated on criminal defendants accused of violating federal income tax laws.

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Andrew A. Johnson, 42, of the District, who helped "completely destroy" one major narcotics operation.

District police department fingerprint examiner Thomas Burse III, 35, of Camp Springs, Md., checked the fingerprint card file for clues to the sexual assaults of 20 elderly women in Northwest Washington. Burse identified the assailant in three of the cases.

District police department Inspector Fred Thomas, 37, of Bowie, Md., for coming up with a way to summon police officers to Superior Court that cut down on hours of time officers used to spend waiting at the courthouse.

District homicide Detective Thomas J. Kilcullen, 38, of Dunkirk, Md., a veteran investigator, for work leading to the conviction of Kevin Petty on murder and robbery charges. More than 100 items of evidence were recovered from the scene of the murder of a court probation officer in his Southwest Washington apartment in January 1979, and more than a dozen witnesses were eventually summoned from Newark, N.J., where the defendant was found driving the victim's car.