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Guilty of Grand Larceny

Matthew Pickerel enters pleas to two offenses.

A Centreville man is now facing a possible 10 years in prison after pleading guilty last week to two counts of grand larceny. He is Matthew Pickerel, 21, of the Lakeside Apartments in Centre Ridge.

THE CRIMES occurred Nov. 1, 2004. Fairfax County police Det. Lincoln Kieffer presented details of the case in a Nov. 5 affidavit for a search warrant to seek possible evidence against Pickerel.

He wrote that, on Nov. 1, a man reported two firearms stolen from his automobile while it was parked near his home on New Braddock Road in Centreville. He told police he'd left the firearms unlocked inside the vehicle.

According to the affidavit, between 1 and 10 a.m., that day, "[the victim] left his pump-action, 12-gauge, Remington shotgun and his Walther .22-caliber automatic pistol in his 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV." At 10 a.m., he discovered that they and a Sony digital camera worth $300 had been swiped.

"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 was 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 told 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 [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 arrested him Nov. 5, charging him with two counts of grand larceny. On Feb. 22, he was indicted by the grand jury. He then appeared last Wednesday, March 9, in Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to both charges. Judge Gaylord Finch then set his sentencing for April 22.