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Police Charge Man With Grand Larceny

Believing that he stole a shotgun and a pistol from another person's car, Fairfax County police have charged a Centreville man with grand larceny. He is Matthew Pickerel, 21, of the Lakeside Apartments in Centre Ridge.

In a Nov. 5 affidavit for a search warrant to seek evidence against Pickerel in the Centreville home of two of his known acquaintances, Det. Lincoln Kieffer detailed the case against him.

He wrote that, on Nov. 1, the victim reported a theft of two firearms from his automobile while it was parked near his home on New Braddock Road in Centreville. He stated that, between 1 and 10 a.m., "he left his pump-action, 12-gauge, Remington shotgun and his Walther .22-caliber automatic pistol in his 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV." The firearms were left unlocked inside the vehicle.

At 10 a.m., their owner discovered that they and a Sony digital camera worth $300 had been stolen. He immediately reported the crime to police.

"On Nov. 1, [I] discovered that a subject by the name of Matthew Pickerel conducted two transactions at the Fidelity Pawn Shop in Centreville," wrote Kieffer. "The two items pawned were a violin and a karaoke machine. These items were discovered to be stolen from two different automobiles from two different locations in the Centreville area on different days."

The detective wrote that Pickerel is the "prime suspect" in the thefts. And he noted that surveillance was conducted in several Centreville locations in order to find him. Also during November, Kieffer developed a confidential informant who advised him that Pickerel was at a certain Centreville apartment between Nov. 1 and 4.

"While inside the apartment, the informant advised [me] that he observed Pickerel in possession of a black, Remington shotgun with a light attached to the pump, and a black, .22-caliber automatic pistol," wrote Kieffer.

"Pickerel [allegedly told the informant] that he stole the two firearms from a Chevrolet Suburban while he had been stealing from cars parked in the Centreville area," continued the detective. "The two firearms that were reported stolen by [the victim] match the firearms in Pickerel's possession."

Police executed the search warrant Nov. 4, and the items they seized included ammunition from a bedroom closet and a bullet container from a bedroom dresser drawer. Pickerel was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with grand larceny.

He was held at the Adult Detention Center on $10,000 bond and has a Dec. 15 court date. If convicted, he could receive as much as five years in prison.