This past fall, eight juveniles went on a crime spree, burglarizing several local homes, damaging property and stealing items such as X-Box games, credit cards and jewelry. They even stole a few cars.
But the law eventually caught up with them, and Fairfax County police charged these boys with committing a slew of burglaries and grand larcenies. Now, one by one, they're each being convicted and sentenced for their roles in the crimes.
THE LATEST one is a 14-year-old Fair Lakes boy. However, Centre View is not identifying him or any of the other boys involved, or revealing their addresses, because they are minors.
But on March 14, this particular boy was found guilty of two counts of breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny, and two counts of grand larceny. The homes he burglarized and stole from were both in Centreville's Fair Crest community.
The break-ins, thefts and vandalisms committed by the teens took place from mid-October until early December. Some of the 30 incidents also involved BB guns used to shoot out windows and damage Christmas decorations.
Police Det. Vicky Armel of the Sully District Police Station headed the investigation — working tirelessly to follow leads, gather information and put together all the pieces of the puzzle. As a result, much of the stolen property was recovered.
In her affidavits for search warrants to seek specific stolen items, Armel noted her investigation of a daytime burglary, Dec. 1, on Fiery Dawn Drive in Fair Crest. Early the next morning, police responded there for a report of a suspicious vehicle.
They discovered a 2000 Chrysler Concord, apparently abandoned, after running off the road. But when police talked to the car's owner, they learned that, the last time he'd seen the vehicle, it was parked near his house.
The owner then looked through his home and discovered that someone had pried open the rear door and entered his house. To his dismay, he also realized that someone had stolen four sets of keys, several pieces of jewelry and a small metal box containing savings bonds for his children.
As it turned out, other homes in that neighborhood were burglarized, as well. On Nov. 30, the young men broke into a home on Sapphire Sky Lane — using a similar entry method as was used at the home on Fiery Dawn.
THIS TIME, though, the homeowner's son was outside the building and two of the juveniles coaxed him into leaving to get some friends so they could all play football. By the time he got back, the teens had forced open the door leading into the garage and got inside the house. They then stole an X-Box game system, 10 games and a computer modem and fled.
A citizen saw two boys jumping the fence leading to the rear yard and told police. The victim's son identified the two juveniles who'd approached him and, wrote Armel, the citizen's description matched the description of them that the son gave.
A third burglary also occurred on Dec. 1. A home on Purple Dusk Court was entered during daylight through an unlocked, sliding-glass door. Many items were taken, including the wedding ring of the homeowner's mother, credit cards, a cell phone and other pieces of jewelry. Wrote Armel: "All three of the burglary victims live in close proximity to two of the suspects."
Meanwhile, on Dec. 11, the original victim told police that a second vehicle belonging to him, a 1999 Mitsubishi, had been stolen twice since the burglary at his home. It had been taken and then returned. The officer taking the report found the car, the next morning, near the CVS Pharmacy in Centreville.
Five people were in or near the car and, although two fled, three others were arrested. Afterward, wrote Armel, they all admitted their involvement in the crimes. She then obtained warrants to search the boys' homes for the stolen items.
From the 14-year-old's home in Fair Lakes' Autumn Woods community, the detective hoped to find: Cash; a gold-color, channel-cut diamond ring; keys to a Corvette; a gray metal box with a cylinder combination lock; a yellow portable DVD player; a gold men's watch; the X-Box game "Halo;" a Uniden walkie talkie; a Columbia Walkie Talkie and pry tools including screwdrivers.
She executed that warrant on Dec. 16. Items seized from the boy's home included a Columbia walkie talkie, a key, a portable CD player, a letter, a screwdriver and two CDs.
ON MARCH 14 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, the 14-year-old was convicted of Dec. 1 burglaries at Fiery Dawn Drive and Purple Dawn Court. He was also found guilty of grand larceny for stealing property from two of the victims.
Judge Jane Delbridge then ordered him to pay a total of $15,905 restitution, on a monthly basis, beginning no later than July 15. He's jointly liable for this amount with his two co-defendants, both 15-year-old boys.
She also placed him on 12 months probation and ordered him to complete Fairfax County's Victim-Awareness Program. In addition, Delbridge sentenced him to 30 days in juvenile detention, but suspended all that time on the condition that he commit no further violations of law, probation or her court order. She also forbid him to have contact with any of the 23 victims.