Fairfax County police have charged two Chantilly residents and a Herndon juvenile in connection with a string of commercial burglaries in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax. Twelve such burglaries have occurred since April.
Arrested were Julie Anne Torres, 24, and Alvin Anioay, 22, both of 13787 Newport Drive in Chantilly's Brookside community, plus a boy, 17, against whom police say more charges are pending. Centre View is withholding his identity because he is a minor.
Information obtained through Crime Solvers and a police investigation led to the trio's apprehension. Anioay, alone, was charged with nine counts of burglary and three counts of grand larceny and held without bond in the Adult Detention Center.
Police said at least a dozen businesses — mostly mini-marts and restaurants — were broken into, during the nighttime hours. In all of these burglaries, the intruders gained entry by "breaking the door locks, smashing glass windows or — in one instance — using a hammer to break through the drywall of the business."
On some occasions, the burglars even turned off the businesses' power. Once inside, say police, "They ransacked the businesses and stole numerous items, [including] more than $13,000 in phone cards, over $3,600 cash, computer equipment, cameras, a credit card and other items."
Investigators always believed that three suspects were involved in these burglaries. And they noted that an anonymous caller who phoned the Crime Solvers tip line will receive a cash reward for the information that led police to make the arrests.
In a Sept. 2 affidavit for a search warrant to seek some of the stolen items in the home of the juvenile, in the area of the Dulles Town Center, police Det. Vicky Armel outlined the case against the three suspects. Armel, with the Criminal Investigations Section of the Sully District Station, was investigating a burglary that occurred between the evenings of June 16-18 at Tastebuds at 14220-D Sullyfield Circle in Chantilly.
The owner had reported that someone had broken into his business by prying open the rear door and then stole a safe, a digital camera and a credit card. Armel wrote that the card was used "on numerous occasions" after the burglary.
Twice on July 2, she wrote, the card was used in the Best Buy store in Fair Lakes to purchase a PlayStation 2 "Grand Theft Auto" game, a 2.5 cubic-foot refrigerator, a bagless stick vacuum, a two-person video-game controller, a PlayStation 2 accessory and two CDs — "In Da Club" and "Get Rich or Die Trying."
"A surveillance video shows a white male leaving the store with the items purchased with the stolen credit card," wrote Armel. "Later the same evening, the stolen card was used to attempt to purchase $412.49 worth of groceries from the Giant Food Store at 13043 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway [in Chantilly]."
She noted that the transaction was denied because the card had been inactivated. And she wrote that the surveillance video shows the same white male, wearing a white shirt with a horizontal stripe, plus a thin stocking cap on his head. Accompanying him were a woman and a white male wearing a white baseball cap and white shirt.
Police used still photographs to compile a "wanted poster" of the suspects, and this poster was displayed in the local businesses. The detective wrote that anonymous tips were received stating that one of the suspects reportedly lived on Newport Drive. Another tip, wrote Armel, allegedly identified the white male in the baseball cap as the juvenile, gave the woman's name and provided a nickname, "Jazz," for the man wearing the stocking cap.
The tipster also gave the teen-ager's place of employment in Herndon and, when Armel contacted a co-worker there, that person also reportedly identified him as the person in the baseball cap and gave the same name for him as the tipster had. This person also allegedly identified both Anioay and Torres as the others with the juvenile and told Armel that all three no longer worked for that company.
During a Sept. 2 interview, wrote Armel, "Anioay [allegedly] admitted involvement in using the stolen credit card. He stated that he [and the teen] had gone into Best Buy ... [and that the teen] had provided him with the credit card to be used for purchases. Anioay [reportedly] stated that he knew the credit card was stolen."
According to the affidavit, both male suspects allegedly bought $185.98 in merchandise on their first visit to Best Buy and $318.94, the second time. Wrote Armel: "On Sept. 1, Anioay was inside [the juvenile's apartment] and observed the vacuum purchased with the stolen credit card."
Police arrested Torres, Sept. 5, charging her with one count of grand larceny. Anioay, arrested the same day, was charged with nine burglaries and three grand larcenies. The juvenile, arrested Sept. 2, was charged with three grand larcenies. Torres was released on $3,000 bond; she and Anioay both have Nov. 3 court dates.