In mid-December, Fairfax County police charged eight juveniles with various burglaries and grand larcenies after the teens broke into several homes in the local area. Property was damaged, and items including X-Box games and portable DVD players were taken.
NOW, ONE OF the perpetrators — a 15-year-old Centreville boy — has been convicted and sentenced for his part in the crimes. Centre View is not identifying any of the boys involved, or their addresses, because they are minors.
However, it can be revealed that this particular boy was found guilty, March 14, of three counts of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny. He's now in a Boys Probation House and must make nearly $16,000 restitution to his victims.
The break-ins, thefts and acts of vandalism committed by the teen-agers occurred from mid-October until early December. These crimes included destruction of property and even auto theft. Some 30 incidents involved BB guns used to shoot out windows and damage Christmas decorations.
The boys arrested were ages 13-16 and are all from Centreville. Police Det. Vicky Armel of the Sully District Police Station headed the investigation and then obtained and executed search warrants at the boys' homes.
Afterward, Capt. Susan Culin, the station commander, was pleased that, "through the search warrants, we've recovered a great deal of stolen property and evidence."
On Dec. 14, police searched homes on two Centreville streets — Summer Pond Drive in the Centre Ridge community and Midnight Blue Place in the Fair Crest community. Two days later, they searched specific residences on Quiet Woods Lane in Fair Lakes' Autumn Woods community and on Fiery Dawn Drive in Fair Crest.
In the 15-year-old boy's home, Armel sought: An X-Box game system and 10 X-Box games: "Dance DanceRevolution, Soul Caliber 2, Need for Speed Underground, X-Man, Basketball, Star Wars, Tetris, Halo, Halo 2 and Bloody War Extreme."
SHE ALSO looked for: A gold ring with an emerald-cut saphire; a gold channel-cut diamond ring; cash; U.S. savings bonds; keys to a Corvette, Mitsubishi Eclipse and a Chrysler Concord; remote vehicle-entry devices for those three cars; a gray metal box with cylinder combination lock and pry tools including screwdrivers.
When police executed the search warrant at the 15-year-old's home, they seized: Four sets of keys, an X-Box, a bong, a credit card belonging to someone else, two walkie talkies, a cell phone, a cable modem, nine X-Box games — including "Need for Speed" and "Halo 2," three X-Box controllers, an X-Box game system, one wireless and three wired controllers, a power cord and connector cable and four earrings.
In her affidavits for search warrants to seek particular stolen items, Armel said she'd been investigating a Dec. 1, daytime burglary at a different address on Fiery Dawn Drive. Early the next morning, police were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle there.
They discovered a 2000 Chrysler Concord, apparently abandoned, after running off the road. The officers contacted the listed owner, who told them that the last time he'd seen the car, it was parked in a parking space near his house.
"WHEN [the owner] began looking through his home, he discovered that someone had pried the metal away from the rear door and gained entry into the house," wrote the detective. "He discovered [that] four sets of keys, several pieces of jewelry and a small metal box containing savings bonds for his children [were] missing."
But that wasn't the only burglary in that neighborhood. On Nov. 30, burglars broke into a home on Sapphire Sky Lane — and the method of entry was similar to the one used at the home on Fiery Dawn. However, in the November incident, the homeowner's son was outside the building.
"He was approached by two male juveniles [who] started a conversation with the son [and] then told him to go get some friends so they could play football," wrote Armel. "The victim's son left the area." When he returned, he discovered that the door leading into the home from the garage had been forced open. "His house had been burglarized." Stolen were an X-Box game system, 10 games and a computer modem.
According to the affidavit, "A concerned citizen reported seeing two male juveniles jumping the fence leading to the rear yard." The victim's son was able to identify the two juveniles who'd approached him and, wrote Armel, the citizen's description matched the description of them given by the son.
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 reported that a second vehicle belonging to him, a 1999 Mitsubishi, had been stolen twice since the burglary at his home. It had been swiped, earlier in the week, and then returned a short time later. Police Officer Richard Lear took the report and, the next morning, he located the vehicle near the CVS Pharmacy across from the Pickwick Shopping Center in Centreville.
Five people were in or near the car and, when Lear challenged one of them, two of them fled on foot. Three others remained in the vehicle and were taken into custody. The arrested juveniles were taken to the police station where, according to Armel, they admitted their involvement and identified the 15-year-old as the boy who'd driven the stolen vehicle.
Police then arrested him and searched his home. "During the search, numerous items were seized and later identified as belonging to the victims of the burglaries," wrote the detective. "During the [police] interview, [the driver] made statements implicating two other [teen-agers and] admitting his own involvement in the crimes."
On March 14 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, the 15-year-old was convicted of burglaries at Sapphire Sky Lane, Fiery Dawn Drive and Purple Dawn Court — all in Centreville. He was also found guilty of grand larceny for stealing property from the home on Purple Dawn.
Judge Jane Delbridge then ordered him to pay a total of $15,905 restitution. She also placed him on indefinite probation and committed him to the Department of Juvenile Justice. However, this commitment will be suspended upon the teen's successful completion of a stint in the Boys Probation House — a therapeutic group home which he entered on March 15.
Since each person's treatment time varies, he's been ordered there for an unspecified amount of time. Judge Delbridge also ordered the teen to have no contact with any of the victims.