For the past six weeks, there's been a rash of residential burglaries in Chantilly. Homeowners would leave for work or vacation and come home to find their houses had been broken into, their premises ransacked and many expensive items stolen.
But thanks to an observant resident who heard glass breaking at the house next door and immediately called police, the three males believed to be responsible for these break-ins are now in custody. The incidents occurred between March 5 and April 16.
Charged were two Chantilly men and a 17-year-old Chantilly boy — and police say they all lived in or near the neighborhoods they were allegedly burglarizing. Four of the crimes were in the Franklin Glen community.
Cesar Perez, 19, of 3240 Tayloe Court in Franklin Farm, and Hyeong Suh, 19, of 3505 Nodding Pine Court in Franklin Glen, were each charged with various counts of burglary, grand larceny and possession of burglary tools. Police charged the teen-ager, of the Brookside community, with burglary and grand larceny. (Centre View is not identifying him because he is a minor).
POLICE ARRESTED THEM ALL last Wednesday, April 16. The teen was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center; the others were ensconced in the Adult Detention Center. Suh — who faces as much as 30 years in prison — was held on $50,000 bond; and Perez — who could receive life imprisonment because one of his charges is burglary while armed — was held on $16,500 bond.
In an April 18 affidavit for a search warrant, Det. Bill Baitinger of the Criminal Investigations Section at the Fair Oaks District Station outlined the cases against the trio. He sought permission to look for some of the stolen items in the teen's home and in Suh's home. The incidents — minus the names of the victims, to protect their identities — were as follows:
* On March 5, around 7 a.m., the victim left his locked house in the 13500 block of Virginia Willow Drive in Franklin Glen and headed for work. When he returned, around 5:40 p.m., he found everything in disarray.
"In his bedroom, several drawers were pulled out and dumped on the floor, and the mattress was tossed off the box spring," wrote Baitinger. "His wife's jewelry box was dumped on the floor. In his son's room, drawers were pulled out and searched through. He found a broken window [in the basement] and the back door standing open." The victim reported about $90 in bills and rolled coins stolen, a woman's Swiss watch and yellow-gold sapphire bracelet.
* On March 23, around 8:30 a.m., a woman left her locked house in the 3700 block of Mazewood Lane in Chantilly Farms and went to work. When she returned around 5:45 p.m., she discovered her home ransacked.
"All the cupboards in the kitchen were open and her personal belongings were thrown around the rooms," wrote the detective. "She found a basement window broken out and the basement door standing open." Missing items included: A complete set of Titlist golf-club irons, a golf bag, gym bags and two keys to her 1998 Audi.
* On March 28, around 9 a.m., a woman in the 3500 block of Nodding Pine Court in Franklin Glen left for work. She arrived home, around 5:30 p.m., to find her home ransacked. Dresser drawers had been pulled out and searched.
ENTRY APPEARED TO BE THROUGH a basement sliding-glass door which had been smashed by a patio chair. A Black and Decker jigsaw, Bushnell binoculars and headphones were missing. And intruders had sawed open two safes.
* On April 10, around 7 a.m., a woman in the 3600 block of Deerberry Court in Franklin Glen left her home locked. When she returned around 8:20 p.m., a door to the garage was open.
"When she went inside, she found the rear door was smashed out, as was the glass storm door," wrote Baitinger. "Checking her house, she found about $100 in rolled coins, a bicentennial U.S. capitol coin, Calloway golf clubs and bag and a Nikon camera were missing."
* On April 12, around 3 p.m., a family in the 13600 block of Brockmeyer Court in Chantilly's Ox Hill community locked the house and left for vacation. Two days later, a neighbor checked and all was well. But on April 16, around 10:30 a.m., her son checked and found the rear door to the back deck had been smashed out. Drawers had been rummaged through and thrown on the floor; the refrigerator door was ajar. Police were called.
Returning home, the owners reported as missing: A pearl necklace, diamond earrings, amethyst ring, man's diamond-and-gold ring, JVC digital video camera, 50 state coins, rolls of coins in various denominations, a cashier's check made out to the homeowner, cash in $100 denominations, two gold Bulova watches, two gold money clips and gold cufflinks.
* On April 15, around 7 a.m., a man in the 3500 block of Honey Locust Court in Franklin Glen left his locked home. Upon returning, around 1:20 p.m., he noticed the French doors leading out to his deck had been smashed. His house was ransacked. He reported as missing: A set of professional turntables, Seiko diver's watch, World's Fair watch, woman's Seiko watch, jewelry box and a diamond cross.
* On April 16, at 10:17 a.m., a man in the 12100 block of Camborne Terrace, in Legato Acres off Piney Branch Road, heard glass breaking outside. "He saw two males breaking into his neighbor's house," wrote Baitinger.
HE CALLED POLICE AND SEVERAL OFFICERS responded. He said a third person was waiting for the pair in a blue Toyota with Maryland tags, but the Toyota left before police arrived.
An Officer Doyle discovered a backyard gate to the house in question was partially open. He noticed the rear, sliding-glass door was smashed. This time, though, police found two suspects still on the premises.
Baitinger wrote that Doyle saw two males leave the house. When he challenged them, they fled, and he followed. He apprehended one of them, reportedly identified as Cesar Perez of Franklin Farm. Doyle allegedly found a money clip, loose coins and a Motorola pager on his person, Baitinger wrote.
Another officer headed toward Route 29 and Legato Road, and he and a police lieutenant found the second man hiding under a tree and arrested him. He was reportedly identified at Hyeong Suh of Franklin Glen. Baitinger wrote that police allegedly found $300, a gold bracelet and a gold money clip on his person. The detective stated that a witness "positively identified" Suh as one of the Camborne Terrace burglars.
Still another officer spotted the Toyota near Piney Branch Road and, with the lieutenant's help, arrested the driver. Police say a witness "positively identified" him as the one who'd driven the Toyota from the crime scene. This person was the juvenile; Baitinger wrote that a search of his person allegedly yielded four rings, a nameplate and a pearl necklace.
POLICE QUESTIONED THE TRIO at the Fair Oaks District Station. Baitinger wrote that the teen reportedly "admitted to being the lookout for Perez and Suh" and said they communicated by pager. Suh denied involvement in any burglaries but, added Baitinger, "[the teen allegedly] stated that Suh had been bragging about breaking into houses on April 15."
The detective said the pearl necklace taken from the teen and a gold-and-diamond ring Suh was reportedly wearing when arrested were both allegedly stolen, April 15, from the family on vacation. Police say the Toyota belonged to the teen's aunt and the trio reportedly asked her to pawn some jewelry and turntables for them — which she did.
Police retrieved these items from pawn shops and verified that they'd been taken during the above heist and from the other April 15 burglary. Police also reportedly discovered that Suh had pawned the jigsaw and binoculars stolen March 28 and that one of the gym bags taken March 23 was in the Toyota with the teen.
During an April 18 search of the teen's home, police seized a Seiko watch. The same day, from Suh's home, police seized an Audi valet key, a U.S. capitol coin, a pawn receipt and a woman's Seiko watch. Perez and Suh have June 9 court dates; the teen's court date is May 7.