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Votes

Answering for 14 Burglaries

One person goes to grand jury; another is sentenced.

Fourteen commercial burglaries occurred in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax between April and September 2003. Now one local person has been sentenced in connection with these crimes, and another has three offenses going before the grand jury.

ON SEPT. 5, Fairfax County police arrested Julie Anne Torres, 24, and Alvin Anioay, 22, both of 13787 Newport Drive in Chantilly's Brookside community. Torres was charged with one count of grand larceny; Anioay was charged with nine burglaries and three grand larcenies.

A Herndon boy, 17, also allegedly involved, was arrested Sept. 2 and charged with three grand larcenies. 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.

Police said the 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."

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. She 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."

Later that evening, wrote Armel, the stolen card was used in an attempt to buy $412.49 worth of groceries from the Giant Food Store at 13043 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Chantilly." But the transaction was denied because the card had been inactivated by then.

Police then used a surveillance video of the suspects leaving the Best Buy with items purchased with the stolen credit card to create still photographs and a "wanted poster" of the trio. The poster was displayed in the local businesses, and anonymous tips led police to Torres, Anioay and the juvenile.

In a Sept. 5 affidavit for a search warrant to seek some of the stolen items in the Chantilly home of Anioay and Torres, Armel wrote that the juvenile admitted using the stolen credit card and participating in 14 burglaries. She also stated that the teen allegedly implicated Anioay, as well, saying that both of them had broken into the businesses and stolen items including cash, computer equipment and pre-paid phone cards.

Last Tuesday, March 30, both Torres and Anioay appeared in General District Court before Judge Thomas Gallahue. Torres' grand larceny charge was reduced to petit larceny, and she was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 170 days suspended.

Most of Anioay's charges were dropped. However, one count of grand larceny and two counts of burglary were certified to the next grand jury for possible indictment. Each offense is punishable by five years in prison and, if convicted, Anioay could receive as much as 15 years behind bars.