Last week, after several months of investigation, Fairfax County Police were able to catch the suspected serial burglar of 17 McLean homes.
On Tuesday, January 24, at about 6:16 p.m., Lori Meyer, 40, walked into her home on Lewinsville Rd. in McLean and encountered a strange man. Upon seeing her, he fled in his car, at which point Meyer ran outside, flagged down a minivan and followed the intruder.
Officer Richard Henry, a Public Information Officer with Fairfax County Police, said that while it is "not a good idea to follow a suspect," Meyer's subsequent description was a huge help in what had been an ongoing investigation.
"She did a good job," said Henry. "Her description of the suspect and the vehicle helped lead us to him."
George Charles Dalmas III, of Falls Church, was arrested on Tuesday, January 31 and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Dalmas, a CIA employee, was charged with 17 counts of burglary and 16 counts of grand larceny.
"The investigation is ongoing and there may be some more charges coming out," said Henry.
According to police, tens of thousands of dollars worth of possessions were stolen by the suspect — including jewelry and approximately 1000 pairs of women's undergarments. The suspect gained access to the houses by forced entry through a window, and although most of the burglaries occurred during the day, some occurred as late as 8 or 9 p.m.
"We were able to recover some of the things that were stolen, but not everything," said Henry.
According to the search warrant issued for Dalmas' residence, police have also checked regional pawn databases, but did not find sales by Dalmas, nor sales of any of the jewelry items that were stolen. Police were also unable to find any registered safe deposit boxes or other secure storage sites for Dalmas, "leaving only his workspace at 930 Dolley Madison Blvd., Langley, Fairfax County, Virginia, as a likely location of the remaining stolen property and ski mask."
A spokesperson for the CIA would only describe Dalmas as "a mid-level administrative employee." He is currently on suspension without pay, pending the results of the investigation.
"It was very surprising, very surprising — almost scary," said Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois, in regards to the fact that Dalmas is an employee of the CIA. "You wonder why he wasn't working during the day. I think we'll probably see the repercussions of that."
The CIA declined to comment on Dalmas' work hours.
The burglaries, which began in October of 2005, had been a growing source of anxiety for residents of McLean. DuBois commended the community and police team effort that led to the apprehension of Dalmas.
"It was a good cooperative effort," said DuBois.
Officer Henry concurred with this, noting that "the community played a big part in the investigation."
"This had the highest priority you could get," said Henry. "The citizens were concerned, the officers were concerned."